Obama administration bans Syrian petroleum imports

US freezes assets of Syrian government in US as part of new sanctions; Obama says "the time has come for President Assad to step aside."

August 18, 2011 17:03
1 minute read.
US President Obama on the phone [illustrative]

US President Barack Obama speaks on the phone 311 (R). (photo credit: Reuters / White House)

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration on Thursday imposed fresh sanctions on Syria's government, freezing any of its assets in the United States as well as banning petroleum products of Syrian origin.

The latest round of sanctions against Syrian President Bashar Assad and his government prohibit US entities, wherever located, from engaging in any transactions or dealings with Syrian petroleum products.

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The administration also blacklisted a new round of Syrian companies, including the state-owned General Petroleum Corporation that controls the country's oil and gas industry.

US President Barack Obama on Thursday said it was time for Assad to resign, and said the United States was implementing tough new sanctions to help end violence in Syria.

"The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar Assad is standing in their way," Obama said in a statement. "His calls for dialogue and reform have rung hollow while he is imprisoning, torturing, and slaughtering his own people.

"For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside."

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