President Obama Considering New Sanctions Against Syria

By Nick Gass

Apr 25, 2011 2:52pm

ABC News' Jake Tapper reports:

In the wake of the violent crackdown on protestors in Syria, President Obama is considering imposing new sanctions on Syrian leaders, including a travel ban and asset freeze, senior White House officials said today.

White House press secretary Jay Carney today said “we continue to look for ways and are pursuing a range of possible policy options, including targeted sanctions, to respond to the crackdown in Syria and to make clear that this behavior is unacceptable.”

On Friday, President Obama issued a statement condemning “in the strongest possible terms the use of force by the Syrian government against demonstrators. This outrageous use of violence to quell protests must come to an end now…We strongly oppose the Syrian government’s treatment of its citizens and we continue to oppose its continued destabilizing behavior more generally, including support for terrorism and terrorist groups.”

The US already has imposed sanctions against Syria, including the Syria Accountability Act of 2004 which bans the export to Syria of most goods containing more than 10% U.S.-manufactured component parts.  The USA Patriot Act in 2006 included a specific sanction against the Commercial Bank of Syria. 

In addition, previous Executive Orders from the President have also denied certain Syrians and Syrian organizations access to the US financial system because of their involvement in corruption, destabilizing activities in Iraq and Lebanon, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or association with al Qaeda, the Taliban or Osama bin Laden.

-Jake Tapper

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