US extends Syria sanctions by a year

Obama: Syria poses extraordinary threat to US national security.

Obama chops 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Obama chops 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
US President Barack Obama extended US sanctions on Syria by a year, a communique to Congress detailed on Tuesday.
In the message, Obama expressed concern that Syria continues to support terrorist regimes and tries to obtain weapons of mass destruction. Syria’s actions and policies “pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States,” he said.
The US president added that the Syrian government had “made some progress in suppressing foreign fighter networks infiltrating suicide bombers into Iraq.”
“As we have communicated to the Syrian government directly, Syrianactions will determine whether this national emergency is renewed orterminated in the future,” Obama said.
Last month US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton underlined the Obamaadministration’s interest in improving relations with Syria despite its“deeply troubling” moves to aid Hizbullah in neighboring Lebanon,seeing the relationship as crucial to the Middle East peace process.
“Where we are as of today is that we believe it is important tocontinue the process to return an ambassador; this is not some kind ofreward for the Syrians and the actions they take that are deeplydisturbing,” she said.