Switzerland became the latest country to impose sanctions on Syria. The Swiss government decided on Tuesday to freeze any assets in the country belonging to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as well as assets belonging to other top Syrian officials. In addition, Assad has been banned from entering Switzerland.

Switzerland joins the United States and the European Union in imposing sanctions on Assad, other top Syrian officials and on the Syrian government. Western governments have said that the sanctions will remain in place until Assad steps down or allows free elections in his country.

The U.S. was first to impose sanctions of any kind on Syria in 2004. Further sanctions were placed on Syria on April 29 of this year, when they were imposed on Syra's intelligence agency and two relatives of Assad. In addition, any assets belonging to American citizens who do business with Syria can be seized, as will be any assets belonging to Assad, his family, or other top Syrian officials.

As of May 17, 13 Syrian officials, including Assad's brother, were on a list of sanctions declared by the European Union. The sanctions include travel bans, seizure of assets belonging to Assad and his top staff, and an arms embargo. Those same individuals were added to Switzerland's own sanctions list on Tuesday, in addition to 10 people that were on the Swiss sanctions list prior to Tuesday.

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