EU extends sanctions on Syrian regime

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The European Union has extended its sanctions against the Syrian regime till June 2019, the bloc announced on Monday.

In a statement, the bloc said that due to “the ongoing repression of the civilian population, the EU decided to maintain its restrictive measures against the Syrian regime and its supporters, in line with the EU strategy on Syria”.

The European Council updated information on the list, according to the statement.

Two deceased persons were removed from the list, the statement added.

The updated list “now includes 259 persons and 67 entities targeted by a travel ban and an asset freeze. The persons added most recently were included for their role in the use of chemical weapons, as was the case for the 4 persons added to the sanctions list on 19 March 2018,” according to the statement.

Current EU sanctions include “an oil embargo, restrictions on certain investments, a freeze of the assets of the Syrian central bank held in the EU, and export restrictions on equipment and technology that might be used for internal repression as well as on equipment and technology for the monitoring or interception of Internet or telephone communications,” the statement added.

Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since March 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

While UN officials say hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, Syrian regime officials say the death toll is closer to 10,000.

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