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Friday, August 5, 2011     GET REAL

Obama administration spares Syrian energy sector from sanctions

WASHINGTON — The United States has again avoided imposing sanctions on Syria's energy sector.


The latest sanctions, announced on Aug. 4, did not target Syria's energy sector despite calls by Congress.

A letter by several senators asserted that a fuel embargo on Syria and blocking foreign contractors would significantly harm the Assad regime, Middle East Newsline reported.

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"What's important is that we continue to build the pressure," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said. "We're looking at sanctions, additional sanctions and measures we can take in the days coming. And we're going to continue to look at additional measures we can take that apply that pressure."

The administration of President Barack Obama has imposed sanctions on members of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. They included Assad confidante and Syrian parliamentarian Mohammed Hamsho and his company. The Hamsho International Group was said to hold 20 subsidiaries, including telecommunications, hotels and construction.

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