European Union foreign ministers to back sanctions against Assad regime

EU sanctions 16 more Syrians over chemical attacks

European Union foreign ministers to back sanctions against Assad regime

The EU Foreign Affairs Council said in a statement that eight of the people sanctioned are senior military officers, while the other eight are scientists connected to what it alleged is the proliferation of chemical weapons.

The European Union made a decision to impose sanctions against 16 soldiers and scientists to Syria, which are accused of carrying out chemical attacks in the country, is spoken in the message of the EU Council. The sanctions issued by the organization now extend to 255 people who are prevented from traveling to European Union territory and whose assets have been frozen, along with 67 companies linked to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

The UN's chemical watchdog, the OPCW, last month concluded that sarin was used as a chemical weapon in the April 4 attack in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhun that killed at least 87 people including children.

The EU will release the names of those hit by the sanctions on Tuesday, it said.

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Eight Syrian scientists and eight top military officials were put on sanctions through measures agreed upon by European Union foreign ministers at a meeting in Brussels.

The sanctions decision "shows the resolve of the United Kingdom and the rest of our friends in Europe in dealing with those who are responsible for chemical weapons attacks", British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told reporters just before the decision was announced.

The EU is the biggest aid donor to the anti-government forces in Syria and has said it will not help rebuild Syria until a peace process involving a transition away from Assad's government is underway.

The EU also maintains an oil embargo on Syria, freezing the assets of the Syrian Central Bank in the EU and imposing restrictions on the export of equipment and technology that can be used for what it calls internal repression or control of the internet or telephone communications.

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