Syrian President Bashar Assad casts his ballot next to his wife Asma at a polling station during a referendum on the new constitution, in Damascus, Syria, Feb. 26, 2012. (Photo: AP)
European Union states decided on Friday to impose sanctions on the wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's and other members of his family, increasing pressure on his government to end a crackdown on popular unrest.
Foreign ministers meeting in Brussels also imposed asset freezes and bans on travel to the EU on several other Syrians and banned European companies from doing business with two Syrian entities, EU officials said.
A full list of sanctions targets will be made public on Saturday when the decision comes into force. EU diplomats said the list included the Syrian president's wife Asma and family. Other members of Al-Assad's family exposed to the EU sanctions include his mother, sister, and sister-in-law.