UN Sanctions Sought on Syria

Syria's top arms supplier, Russia, still threatening veto
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 24, 2011 6:59 AM CDT
UN Sanctions Sought on Syria
In this image taken on July 19, 2011 with a mobile phone, Syrian anti-regime protesters carry a picture of Syrian President Bashar Assad with an Arabic writing that reads, "Leave. We don't trust you. You will leave and we will stay because Syria is ours. Enough of injustice and killing."   (AP Photo/Shaam News Network, File)

Seeking to ramp up condemnation of Syria beyond mere words, the European Union, with the support of the United States, has introduced draft resolution to the UN Security Council for a total arms embargo, requiring all sea and air cargo entering and leaving Syria to be inspected, reports the Wall Street Journal. The legislation would also freeze the assets of 24 Syrian officials and four companies, as well as revoke the travel privileges of 22 officials.

In addition, the legislation would allege that government officials may have committed crimes against humanity, although it falls short of referring the case to the International Criminal Court. The US and EU already have sanctions in place against Syria, but a UN resolution would make those penalties universal. But these proposed sanctions are still far from being enacted—previous attempts have failed because of the threat of a veto by Russia, which is one of Syria's top arms suppliers. And Russian officials indicated they are still not prepared to back such penalties now. (Read more Syria stories.)

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