EU to strengthen sanctions, arms embargo against Syria
This image made from amateur video released by the Ugarit News and accessed Wednesday, July 18, 2012, purports to show Free Syrian Army soldiers during clashes with Syrian government forces at Tadamon Police Station in Damascus, Syria. (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)
Published Friday, July 20, 2012 6:16AM EDT
BRUSSELS, Belgium -- European Union nations will enforce an arms embargo against Syria by boarding ships and aircraft carrying suspicious cargo to the war-torn nation.
A senior EU official said on Friday the obligatory inspections will commence after being adopted by foreign ministers Monday.
The 28-nation bloc banned arms exports to Syria in May, 2011. But until now, governments could decide whether or not to check suspicious cargos.
The inspections will only take place on EU territory or in its waters, said the official who could not be named under standing rules. It will not apply elsewhere.
The EU has frozen the assets of 43 companies and 128 people believed to be associated with the repression, or benefiting from the regime. About two dozen new names will likely be added next week.