The European Council on Monday issued a series of sanctions against the Assad regime senior military officials and scientists behind the deadly chemical weapons attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in April 4 that claimed the lives of dozens of civilians, including children.
“The Council added 16 persons to the list of those targeted by EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime. The EU added these 16 persons for their role in the development and use of chemical weapons against the civilian population,” the EU Council said Monday.
A total of 255 Assad regime officials are now targeted under Brussels’ travel ban and an asset freeze in addition to 67 entities, according to the EU Council.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson described Monday’s actions by the EU ministers as a very good agreement and said he was pleased the ministers could come together to focus on the issue.
The move “showed Europe’s resolve “in dealing with those who are responsible for chemical weapons attacks,” Johnson said from Brussels.
The decision was welcomed by the US Department of State which on Monday said “the action follows sanctions designations recently undertaken by the United States, similarly aimed at holding the Syrian regime accountable for its repeated use of chemicals weapons on the Syrian people, including the April 4 Khan Shaykhun attack.”
The sanctions the EU previously imposed on the Assad regime included an embargo on trade and oil, restrictions on some types of investment, a freeze on EU-held assets of the Syrian central bank and a ban on exports of materials and technology that can be used for repression as well as telecommunications surveillance technology. On May 29, the EU extended the sanctions until June 1, 2018. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)