At least 15 people have been killed in the past 24 hours in the continued crackdown on protesters by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as the European Union and United Nations planned more sanctions against his regime.
EU governments are likely to adopt an embargo against imports of Syrian oil by the end of next week, an EU diplomat said on Wednesday.
Valerie Pecresse, a French government spokeswoman, said: “France pressed for tougher sanctions on Syria and more pressure from the United Nations to bring about a democratic transition there.”
The EU’s 27 governments agreed last Friday to explore new sanctions against Assad in response to his five-month crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, in which the UN said 2,200 civilians have been killed.
The UN’s human rights council launched an investigation on Tuesday into the violence, including possible crimes against humanity, despite objections from Russia, China and Cuba.
The EU has already placed sanctions on dozens of Syrian officials and state entities.