Eight members of Syria’s new government sanctioned by EU

Eight members of Syria's new government sanctioned by EU

The EU on Friday added eight ministers from the new Syrian government formed in August to its sanctions blacklist for their role in President Bashar al-Assad’s violent repression of civilians.

The decision by the EU’s 27 member countries bans the ministers from travelling to Europe and will see their assets frozen.

The EU’s official journal on Friday added the names of the ministers of oil and mineral resources, industry, health, agriculture and three ministers of state.

The ministers of finance, justice, trade, transport, culture, education and water resources had already been added on October 16.

The new government of Prime Minister Hussein Arnous, who has been on this list since 2014, is the fifth to be formed in Syria since the beginning of the conflict in 2011.

With the additions, the crisis in Syria has put 288 people and 70 entities under EU sanctions.

EU sanctions have been in force against the Assad regime since December 2011 and are subject to annual review.

The Syrian conflict erupted in early 2011 when Assad’s forces staged a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests, sparking violence that has since claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

After nine years of war, Assad controls some 70 per cent of Syrian territory.

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