The EU today issued regulations prohibiting the export of luxury goods to Syria from the EU or by EU nationals wherever located. The luxury goods include pearls, caviar, truffles, pure-bred horses and new vehicles costing € 25,000 or more. The regulations also add dual-use items, such as a number of chemicals and toxins and chemical production and storage equipment, to those whose export to Syria is already prohibited because of their possible use for internal repression.  

In announcing the EU's approval of these regulations, Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said, "EU sanctions target those responsible for the appalling repression and violence against the civilian population. We have carefully calibrated [the EU's] decision to avoid affecting the Syrian people."  

There must not be a significant market for luxury goods among ordinary Syrians. In any event, the EU noose around Syria’s neck grows tighter.