EU Spares Bashar Assad for Now

The EU published a sanctions list against Syrian officials instrumental in violent repression.

Aryeh Ben Hayim , | updated: 3:19 PM

Catherine Ashton
Catherine Ashton


The European Union got more specific about its targeted sanctions against Syria. While Bashar Assa evaded the list for a while due to differences of opinion within the EU the list of 13 Syrian officials include a brother and a power cousin of the Syrian ruler.

The sanctions call for asset freezes and travel bans against members of the Syrian elite. Assad got a pass due to objections from Germany and Spain.His cousin Rami Makhlouf, , who owns Syria's largest mobile phone company, Syriatel, and several large firms in the construction and oil sectors.

Brother Maher al-Assad, 43, made the list as the head of the Republican Guard and the spearhead of the repressive activities. Assad's intelligence chief and interior minister were on the list of baddies.

While Europe was rousing itself for some hesitant steps Assad's ally, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, provided a vote of confidence. Speaking in Istanbul the Iranian leader who has supported the ostensibly pro-democracy disturbances in pro-Western countries, urged  a hands-off policy towards Syria:"The government and the people of Syria have reached a level of maturity to solve their own problem by themselves and there is no need for foreign intervention,"