The European Union added Tuesday the commander of Syria’s special forces, a militia chief and a slew of generals to a new list of Syrians hit by sanctions over a crackdown on protesters.
The military men and a lawyer are among 18 extra people blacklisted by the 27-state EU, bringing to 74 the members of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime hit in past months by assets freezes and travel bans.
The list was published one day after EU foreign ministers agreed to expand it and block Syria from accessing funds from the European Investment Bank in an effort to pile extra pressure on Assad.
Major General Jumah al-Ahmed, commander of special forces, is accused by the EU of being “responsible for the use of violence against protesters across Syria,” according to the bloc's Official Journal.
He was joined by Colonel Luai al-Ali, head of Syrian military intelligence in the city of Deraa, who is blamed for attacks against protesters in the cradle of the revolt.
The list includes General Aous Aslan, head of battalion in the Republican Guard, who is considered close to Assad and the president's feared younger brother Maher, a colonel heading the army’s elite Fourth Division.
Other top security men include Lieutenant General Jasim al-Furayj, chief of general staff, Abdullah Berri, head of the Berri family militia, and deputy interior minister Saqr Khayr Bek.
The EU also added a lawyer to the list, Bassam Sabbagh, head of Sabbagh & Associates law firm and a member of the Paris bar, who is accused of providing financial support for the regime.