EU to look at imposing fresh sanctions on Syria

The bloc's foreign ministers are set to meet to discuss the current Syria situation on Monday.

April 13, 2018 18:19
2 minute read.
Bashar Assad

Bashar Assad. (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


BRUSSELS - The European Union will look into imposing fresh sanctions on Syria including blacklisting more people over the development and use of chemical arms, according to a draft statement by the bloc's foreign ministers.

The ministers meet on Monday to discuss Syria amid the prospect of Western military action after a suspected chemical attack by the government on April 7. Any strike risks a confrontation with Russia, which has been instrumental in President Bashar al-Assad's gains in the war.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

Senior EU officials on Friday said that "evidence clearly points to the Syrian regime" in investigations over a gas attack on the town of Douma, which killed dozens of people.

US President Donald Trump warned of military strikes in response and EU member France said it had proof the Syrian government carried it out.

British Prime Minister Theresa May won backing from her ministers to take action with the United States and France to deter further use of chemical weapons by Syria.

Germany, Italy and the Netherlands say they will not join any military action. The rest of the EU has mostly refused to discuss their stance in preparing their ministers' Monday talks.

Diplomats and officials in Brussels stressed the ministers' draft statement, prepared in advance and seen by Reuters, could change over the weekend depending on developments.


Currently, it refers to the EU's existing sanctions on Syria, which blacklist 257 people for "violent repression" of civilians, as well as for benefiting from or supporting the regime. Nearly 70 entities have also had their EU assets frozen.

"The EU will continue to consider further restrictive measures against Syria as long as the repression continues," the ministers will say on Monday, according to the draft text.

"In July 2017 and in March 2018, the EU imposed additional restrictive measures on Syrian high-level officials and scientists for their role in the development and use of chemical weapons and is ready to consider imposing further measures going forward."

The EU will also reiterate it would not pay for rebuilding Syria without political dialog between Damascus and the opposition, criticize Russia, Iran and Turkey for their military interventions in Syria, and call for accountability for crimes committed in the war, including the use of chemical weapons.

For now, the statement does not mention any military steps, something Fadel Abdul Ghany, head of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, called for as he briefed EU diplomats this week.

"That would be the only way to stop civilian killings and push Assad and his backers towards talks," Ghany told Reuters. "We need to... weaken them militarily in a significant way. It should not be a single hit but a strategic plan."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
October 16, 2018
The curious case of ‘woke’ Ahmadinejad