The Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad has condemned sanctions imposed on the country by the President of the United States, according to Syrian state media, SANA.

Damascus said that Barack Obama’s sanctions are part of a regional scheme, aimed primarily at serving Israel's interests” and added that the sanctions have not and will not impact any of Syria’s policy decisions, nor would it affect Syria's stand on regional and international politics.

The US measures are part of a series of sanctions imposed by successive US administrations against the Syrian people as part of a regional scheme, aimed primarily at serving Israel's interests, SANA said.

The Syrian government added that the measures by the US are designed to prolong the crisis in Syria

Obama earlier imposed sanctions specifically on Assad and six of his top officials due to gross human rights abuses the state has perpetrated upon anti-government protesters over the past two months, including illegal detentions and torture.

Under terms of the sanction order, the U.S. assets of Assad and his top men will be frozen and it will become illegal for US citizens to do any business with them.

The other six people under the order comprise: vice-president Faruq al-Shara, prime minister Adel Safar, interior minister Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaar, defense minister Ali Habib Mahmud, military intelligence chief Abdul Fatah Qudsiya and director of the political security directorate, Mohammed Dib Zaitoun.

A pro-government Syrian newspaper went even further, suggesting that the sanctions are meant to pressure Damascus into cutting its relations with Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas.
The United States and its allies are wasting no time in putting pressure on Syria to force it to change its regional policies, said Al-Watan.

What is happening in Syria is part of a US plan aimed at weakening Syria and cutting off its alliance with the resistance.

Yesterday, a US official told Agence France Presse that the sanctions are meant to “increase pressure on the government of Syria to end its violence against its people and begin transitioning to a democratic system.”

In a letter to the US Congress, Obama explained that the sanctions are a response to Damascus’ continuous escalation of violence against the people of Syria.

He also cited “attacks on protesters, arrests and harassment of protesters and political activists, and repression of democratic change, overseen and executed by numerous elements of the Syrian government.

Human rights activists estimate at least 700 people have died in Syria during this period of unrest, while many hundreds, perhaps thousands, more have been wounded.