US to Freeze Syrian Assets, Impose Sanctions
Europe also considering action
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2011 7:48 AM CDT
This video image taken from amateur video released by Sham News Network, a Syrian Freedom group, shows a man throwing an object at a tank in Daraa, Syria Sunday April 24, 2011.   (AP Photo/Sham News Network via APTN)
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(Newser) – With the bloodshed mounting in the streets of Daraa, the Obama administration is preparing sanctions against Syria, including freezing the assets of top Syrian officials, the LA Times reports. That may not have a ton of impact, since Syrian officials don’t own all that many US assets to begin with, but it marks the first concrete action against a regime the administration had previously hoped to improve relations with.

The administration’s hoping to pressure its European allies into following suit, since Damascus is more heavily invested there. Dozens of tanks are now stationed in Daraa, and several military officials say they’ve been ordered to kill any protesters they see. “We have orders to open fire,” said one officer. “We are afraid to carry them out because there will be more killing. But if we don’t, someone will kill us.” Activists say more than 25 were killed yesterday. Another rights group tells al-Jazeera that security forces have arrested some 500 pro-democracy activists.