Canada targets Syrian regime with sanctions

Ottawa will impose targeted sanctions against the Syrian government as a violent crackdown against protesters continues in the Middle Eastern country, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced.

The Conservative government says it will ban certain people tied to the Syrian government from travelling to Canada, and freeze the assets of those connected to the regime and involved in military and security action targeting Syrians.

The Harper government also says it will put a halt to bilateral cooperation agreements and initiatives with Syria, and restrict such goods as arms, munitions, and military items from being exported to the Middle Eastern country.

“Canada is gravely concerned at the excessive use of force by the Syrian regime against its own people, which has reportedly resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians and the detention of thousands more,” Harper said in a news release today (May 24).

“The sanctions being announced today are a repudiation of Syria’s blatant violation of its international human rights obligations that threaten the security of the entire Middle East.”

The sanctions are intended to help efforts toward democratic reform in the country, according to the release.