The European flag (top L) fly amongst EU member countries' national flags in front of the European Parliament, in Strasbourg October 12, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)
European Union foreign ministers agreed on Monday to impose tougher sanctions on Syria as the bloody conflict there enters its fourth summer.
"In view of the gravity of the situation in Syria," 12 government ministers would be hit with travel bans and asset freezes "given their responsibility for serious human rights violations," a statement said.
The decision means EU sanctions now cover 191 Syrian figures implicated in the civil war, it said.
"At the same time, 53 entities linked to the repressive policies, including the Central Bank of Syria, remain under an EU asset freeze," it added.
The names of the 12 government ministers will be published on Tuesday in the EU's Official Journal.
In May, Brussels extended existing sanctions against Syria for another year, including an oil embargo and asset freezes against allies of President Bashar al-Assad.