EU Imposes New Syria Sanctions


The European Union has imposed fresh sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime over its 15-month-long crackdown on the opposition.

The step came after Syrian armed forces on June 22 shot down a military plane of NATO ally Turkey.

The EU said foreign ministers at a meeting in Luxembourg agreed on sanctions targeting one Syrian individual and six entities.

There were no immediate details on those targeted.

With the additions, a total of 129 individuals and 49 entities in Syria are now subject to EU sanctions.

EU foreign ministers also praised Turkey for showing restraint after the plane was shot down.

The Turkish cabinet was expected to meet later on June 25 to discuss how to respond to the jet downing in what Ankara says was international airspace.

NATO ambassadors are due to meet at Turkey’s request on June 26 for consultations on the incident.

Turkey has not asked for a NATO military response.

Fresh Defections

Meanwhile, Turkish state-run news media say 33 more members of the Syrian military have defected to Turkey with their families.

The reports say the group includes at least two colonels. There were conflicting reports about whether a general was also among the defectors.

The defecting soldiers and their families are said to number around 220 people.

The Anadolu news agency reported that the group crossed into Turkey overnight on June 24-25.

Turkey is now hosting more than 30,000 Syrian refugees, including defectors from Assad’s military.