Assad hit by luxury goods ban

The EU has imposed new sanctions on the government of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, restricting imports of luxury goods and equipment that could be used for 'repression'.

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New EU sanctions for Syria

The European Union has adopted new sanctions against Syria due of the continued bloodshed in the country despite a 10-day ceasefire, the EU's council of foreign ministers announced.

Syrian security members inspecting damaged building after explosions near the intelligence forces in Damascus, March 17, 2012. Credit: Reuters

The new measures announced by the ministers, representing EU governments, would restrict exports to Syria of luxury products and goods that could be used for repression.


UN observers greeted by Homs residents

Amateur video posted on the internet on Saturday claims to show UN obervers being escorted around the al Khalidiya neighbourhood of Homs in Syria. When gunfire is heard, the observers are ushered into a doorway for safety.

A handful of monitors has been in the country for a week as an advance party while diplomats hammered out the mandate to send 300 monitors.

ITV News cannot independently verify the veracity of this footage.


UN urges Syria to make observers' mission possible

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the Security Council's decision to authorise up to 300 unarmed military observers to monitor Syria's fragile cease-fire and urged the government and opposition to make their deployment possible.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon Credit: Reuters

"(Ban) calls upon the Government of Syria and other parties swiftly to create the conditions necessary for the deployment of the mission," his press office said in a statement.

"He stresses the need for the Government of Syria to end all violence and human rights violations, and in particular to stop the use of heavy weapons and to withdraw such weapons and armed units from population centres," the statement said.

UN Council approves up to 300 Syria truce monitors

The UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution that authorises an initial deployment of up to 300 unarmed military observers to Syria for three months to monitor a fragile week-old ceasefire in a 13-month old conflict.

President Bashar al-Assad Credit: Reuters

The Russia-European drafted resolution said that deployment of U.N. observer mission, which will be called UNSMIS, will be "subject to assessment by the Secretary-General (Ban Ki-moon) of relevant developments on the ground, including the cessation of violence."

The council's resolution also noted that the cessation of violence by the government and opposition is "clearly incomplete."

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