EU agrees to extend Syria sanctions, skirts oil issue

BRUSSELS - EU states agreed on Thursday to further extend sanctions on Syria but stopped short of targeting the oil industry and banks, which dissidents say would be the only way to choke off funds fueling repression in the country.
EU officials said EU ambassadors meeting in Brussels agreed that more names should be added to a sanctions list that already targets President President Bashar Assad and 34 other individuals as well as military-linked firms associated with the suppression of dissent.
They also agreed that the possibility of extending sanctions to the oil industry should be considered, but stopped short of a decision, the officials said. How far the sanctions list should be extended would depend on recommendations from the EU delegation in Damascus and EU states, they said.