EU sanctions target Syriatel, 5 other Syrian firms

Media, construction, investment, military linked companies sanctioned; information, justice ministers banned from travel, assets frozen.

anti assad 311 (photo credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir )
anti assad 311
(photo credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir )
BRUSSELS - The European Union imposed sanctions on Syria's main mobile phone operator Syriatel, the country's largest private company Cham Holding and several construction and investment firms, the EU's Official Journal showed on Saturday.
Europeans are banned from doing business with the six companies, which also include a television station, Addounia TV, and three firms linked to the Syrian military.
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The ministers of justice and information were also added to a list of Syrians affected by an EU travel ban and asset freeze.
The moves came as Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan announced late on Friday that, as a response to Damascus' bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters, Turkey seized a Syrian-flagged ship and intended to intercept any arms shipments headed to Syria.
Speaking to reporters in New York late on Friday where he attended the UN General Assembly, Erdogan said Turkey had stopped a Syrian-flagged ship in Marmara, according to state-run Anatolia News Agency. It did not indicate whether the ship was stopped in the Sea of Marmara or the port of Marmara.
Erdogan did not say when the ship was seized or whether any weapons were found aboard.
"We have already made a decision to stop and prevent any vehicle carrying any type of weapon to Syria. We told them our decision as well as shared it with neighboring countries," Anatolia quoted Erdogan as saying.