As the White House presses Syria to halt it's brutal repression of dissent, it is considering calling for Assad to step down. While it is not clear how effective that would be, Obama may have little choice.
On Wednesday the US Treasury Department announced that it has added the Commercial Bank of Syria, the nation’s largest, as well as leading cell phone operator Syriatel to its sanctions list. Any assets these institutions have in the United States will be frozen, and US banks are now banned from doing business with them.
“We are taking aim at the financial infrastructure that is helping provide support to Assad and his regime’s illicit activities,” said David Cohen, Treasury undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in a statement announcing the move.
RECOMMENDED: What's at stake if Syria's regime falls
The new sanctions listing may not have a large practical effect, given that the US already severely limits economic interaction with the Assad regime. But the administration is also reportedly considering a further step: an explicit call for Mr. Assad to step down.
Page 1 of 4