Tag Archive | "european officials"

U.S. May Impose Sanctions as Clashes in Syria Continue

The administration of President Obama is getting ready to put its initial steps against President Bashar Assad and his top army officers into action. It is said that the government will impose sanctions against the Syrian leaders because of their increasingly bloody violence to stop protesters.

The Damascus regime on Monday ordered thousands of soldiers armed with snipers and backed with tanks to raid the southern city of Daraa where protesters started uprising. A report by activists said there were more than 25 people killed in the brutal shootout.

The command followed the chaotic weekend when government forces randomly fired on demonstrators attending a funeral procession. The revolt, which started five weeks ago, led to the deaths of more than 200 demonstrators and civilians.

U.S. government officials said they are preparing orders that would freeze any U.S. assets of top Syrian officials. They will be refused to travel in the United States as well.

Although imposing sanctions will not produce a dramatic effect on the Syrian officials, who apparently have only few U.S. assets, this signals a remarkable move in the administration of President Obama, which has made large efforts to create better relations with the Damascus regime.

European officials are also thinking of taking steps against President Assad’s regime. Most Syrian leaders maintain bigger investments in Europe than in the United States. Thus, travel restrictions and economic sanctions from Europe will give a more direct effect.

The Obama administration hopes its European allies will also follow their suit since moves from Britain and France are particularly important to convince President Assad to show restraint.

Posted in Nation and WorldComments (0)

France to Increase Airstrikes in Libya

Europe seems to be really close to doing what the country said it would not do in Libya – jump in to the situation for the efforts of ousting Moammar Gadhafi.

On Wednesday, France said that they have sent a couple of their military officers to help the rebels fight Gadhafi’s forces on the ground. They also announced that they will step-up their airstrikes in Libya. Britain and Italy are also sending their military officers to Libya.

European officials will help the rebels turn the tide on Gadhafi’s reign in Libya without breaking the rules of the U.N. The National Transitional Council’s acting foreign minister said that they will do whatever it takes to topple the longstanding Libyan leader. The rebels need a more official army and weapons to help them battle with Gadhafi’s people.

Ali al-Issaoui, one of the rebel leaders, said that they have not handed out official demands from France and all the other countries that are willing to help but they are open to all possibilities. The opposition said that arms have been received but they are unfortunately insufficient.

On the other hand, the White House is planning to extend non-lethal assistance by donating $25 million. This is the first direct aid offered by the Obama administration after assessing their intentions and capabilities.

The aid is intended to help the Transitional Council and protect the civilians especially in areas that are under attack. There is no complete list of aid yet but they may contain things like medical supplies, boots, tents, personal protective gear, and uniforms, among many others.

Posted in Nation and WorldComments (0)