The United States has slapped sanctions on President Bashar al-Assad for the violation of human rights, reported Reuters on Wednesday.
Last month, Washington had imposed sanctions on two relatives of Assad for violating human rights.
The two-month-old protest against the 11-year-rule of President Assad has already claimed at least 700 lives, say activists. The situation worsened when the residents discovered human corpses in and around the city of Deraa.
The government has ripped people off electricity, water and communications in an effort to crackdown the protests.
The decision to mark Assad personally by Washington raises questions whether the West would eventually seek his exit. Members of the regime are now under siege said Haitham al-Maleh, a Leading Syrian opposition figure on the move by the US. Any move by the international community may help the Syrian people in continuing their uprising, he added.
The sanctions list also includes Vice President Farouq al-Shara, Prime Minister Adel Safar, Interior Minister Mohammad Ibrahim al-Shaar, Defense Minister Ali Habib, besides Abdul Fatah Qudsiya, head of Syrian military intelligence and Mohammed Dib Zaitoun, director of the political security directorate.
The actions the administration has taken today send an unequivocal message to President Assad, the Syrian leadership and regime insiders that they will be held accountable for the ongoing violence and repression in Syria said David S. Cohen, acting under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence in a statement.
The US Treasury Department said it would freeze any of the assets owned by Syrian officials that fall within U.S. jurisdiction and will cease any further individual or company transactions with them.
An EU diplomat said, the European Union as well might extend sanctions on Syria by next week. He said that there is a clear majority, if not consensus among members to put Assad on the list.