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US hits Syrian defense officials with sanctions

US slaps sanctions on top Syrian defense, security officials By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' The Obama administration is expanding sanctions on top members of Syrian President Bashar Assad's defense and security apparatus.

The Treasury Department announced Friday that it had placed the Syrian defense ministers, the deputy chief of staff of the army and Assad's security chief on a blacklist that freezes any assets they may have in U.S. jurisdictions. It also bars Americans from doing business with the three men.

Treasury said in a statement that the move was aimed at "those who stand with the Assad regime as it trains the instruments of war against Syrian civilians."

Assad himself and a number of others in his inner circle have already been targeted by U.S. sanctions.

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