In an effort to hinder Bashar al-Assad’s attacks on the people of Syria, the European Union has imposed new sanctions on the president’s inner circle, according to CNN.
The new sanctions include freezing the assets of al-Assad’s wife, Asma, and his mother, sister and sister-in-law, an EU spokesman said. These women, among a dozen added to the sanctions list, are also barred from entering a EU nation.
Sanctions have been made amidst the growing concern for the violence and bloodshed occurring in Syria at the hands of al-Assad.
It has been over a year since the protests begun- with the latter part of the year consisting of escalating violence and unabashed bloodshed.
This violence has alerted the international community, and many countries are calling for intervention.
In February, the U.N. Security Council tried to pass a resolution calling for al-Assad to step down and hand power over to his deputy. However, the effort was thwarted by Russia and China’s veto.
Since, there have been many efforts by the international community to stop al-Assad’s wrath. For instance, French President Nicholas Sarkozy has condemned al-Assad’s actions and thinks he should face the International Criminal Court. China has called for an end to the violence. And international aid organizations have attempted- with some success- to enter Syria to give food and medical aid to those who need it.
And then there is Russia who still remains an ally of Syria, sending the president’s regime weapons.
The new sanctions instilled on al-Assad and his inner circle is another attempt to try and stop al-Assad.
And while I agree with Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, statement in the article:
“Sanctions make a significant difference because they do two things: One is they target individuals and entities in ways that prevent them from carrying on their business as usual, and secondly, they make a strong political statement about how the international community feels about what’s going on,” she said.
I am also hesitant because the U.S., EU, the Arab League, Turkey and Japan have already slapped sanctions on Syria- sanctions that have not hindered al-Assad’s brutality whatsoever.
I have said it time and time again- but I will say it once more- more serious measures need to be taken. None of these other measures seem to be working, and while I am all for finding a peaceful solution to end this, I do not think it is possible anymore. Military intervention is what I think it will take for al-Assad to stop his wrath.And the longer we wait to find other solutions, the more lives will be lost. There is no easy or right solution here. But we must exhaust all our options, and the peaceful ones have not worked. So, it is time we escalate our interest in this conflict and begin to think about intervening militarily so we can stop this disaster.