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Thursday, September 29, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

EU imposes sanctions on Syria regime's insiders,
defense industry moguls

LONDON — The European Union has sanctioned Syria's military industry.


The EU has imposed sanctions on companies that supply Syria's defense industry. Under a seventh round of sanctions, the EU banned two individuals and six companies linked to the regime of President Bashar Assad.

"The EU restrictive measures are designed to have maximum impact on the Syrian regime, while minimizing any potential negative impacts on the Syrian population," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Sept. 23.

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Three of the companies sanctioned were identified as part of Syria's defense industry and linked to Assad's first cousin and leading financier, Rami Makhlouf. El-Tel Co. was said to be a manufacturer and supplier of telecommunications for the Syrian Army.

Another sanctioned company was identified as Ramak Constructions. Ramak constructs military barracks and border posts for the army.

Souruh Co. was said to invest in Syria's military industry. Souruh, owned by Makhlouf, was also said to manufacture weapons parts.

In mid-2011, the United States imposed sanctions on Syria's defense industry. The sanctions targeted a state-owned entity that produces chemical weapons and missile warheads.

Makhlouf was also identified as vice chairman of Cham Holdings, launched in 2007 with initial funding of $360 million. Makhlouf also controls SyriaTel, the telecommunications monopoly and which also came under EU sanctions.

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