In response to the Government of Syria’s escalation of violence against the people of Syria, on May 18, 2011, President Obama signed an Executive Order blocking the property of seven members of Syria’s top leadership, including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, for human rights abuses.  This Order closely follows Executive Order 13572 of April 29, 2011, that blocked the property of five designated persons (including President al- Assads’ brother, Mahir al-Asad) identified to have committed human rights abuses in Syria. 
Specifically, the May 18, 2011 Order blocks all property and interests in property within the jurisdiction of the United States of the following individuals, each of whom is identified as responsible for the violent crackdown against protestors:
- Bashar Al-Assad: President of the Syrian Arab Republic
- Farouk Al-Shara: Vice President
- Adel Safar: Prime Minister
- Mohammad Ibrahim Al-Shaar: Minister of the Interior
- Ali Habib Mahmoud: Minister of Defense
- Abdul Fatad Qudsiya: Head of Syrian Military Intelligence
- Mohammed Dib Zaitoun: Director of Political Security Directorate
Consistent with prior guidance  from the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Order should be treated as also blocking the property of entities owned or controlled by these persons.
Possible European Union Sanctions
While the European Union has discussed possible sanctions against President Assad, EU officials do not anticipate making a decision on this issue until next week.