Canada targets Syrian central bank in new sanctions
OTTAWA — Canada imposed Monday a fresh round of sanctions on Syria targeting the central bank and seven cabinet ministers in a bid to halt President Bashar al-Assad’s deadly crackdown on dissent.
The Canadian embassy in Damascus and a consulate also were shuttered and Canadian diplomats left the country, the foreign affairs ministry said.
The new sanctions brought the total number of individuals facing an asset freeze and a prohibition on economic dealings to 115. Canada has also designated another 39 entities.
“The continuing, appalling violence perpetrated by the Assad regime on the people of Syria compels us to again tighten the vice on those responsible,” Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said in a statement.
“These additional measures include a complete ban on the provision or acquisition of financial or other related services, as well as sanctions on the Syrian central bank and seven high-ranking Syrian officials implicated in the violence.”
The Syrian officials targeted by the new sanctions — the sixth round imposed by Ottawa since May — are Assad’s ministers of health, presidential affairs, communications, resources, industry, education and transportation.
The Assad regime has been battling a year-long uprising that has left more than 7,500 people dead, according to the United Nations.