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In shift, US considers sanctions against Syria's Assad regime

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Social Media website via Reuters TV

(Read caption) A man throws a rock at a passing tank in a location given as Deraa on April 25, in this still image from an amateur video. Syrian troops in tanks and armored vehicles poured into the southern town of Deraa and opened fire on Monday, residents said, in the latest bloodshed in a crackdown on protests that has escalated sharply in recent days.

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The Obama administration is drafting sanctions against Syrian government officials responsible for the escalating violence against protesters, the Wall Street Journal reported.

After weeks of treading lightly as it weighed its support for the protesters with a desire to engage with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the White House seems to have come down on the side of the swelling ranks of protesters. Obama condemned the brutality of Syrian security forces after more than 100 protesters were killed in Friday's protests alone, as the total death toll climbed above 300 this weekend.

The sanctions would freeze senior government officials' assets in the US and prevent them from doing business with US companies. US sanctions alone wouldn't have much of an impact on the Assad regime, which has few holdings in the US, but they will be significant if European countries follow suit since President Assad and other officials are believed to have much larger holdings in Europe, according to the Journal.


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