On May 18th, the Treasury Department announced that President Obama has signed an Executive Order imposing sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and six other senior officials of the Government of Syria in an effort to increase pressure on the Government of Syria to end its use of violence against its people and begin transitioning to a democratic system. The Treasury Department designated 10 additional individuals and entities responsible for human rights abuses. As a result of these actions, the designees' property located in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons is blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with the designees. Treasury Department Press Release.