International efforts to tighten pressure on Syria intensified Monday, July 23, with the European Union placing new sanctions on Damascus while foreign ministers predicted President Bashar Assad was starting to lose his grip on power, The Wall Street Journal
reported. The E.U. confirmed it was placing an asset freeze and travel ban on 26 people—mainly army, security and intelligence officials. The E.U. also tightened its arms embargo and targeted three companies including Syria’s flagship airline. Member states will be obliged to carry out searches at their airports, ports and in their territorial waters if they suspect “the cargo contains arms or equipment for internal repression.” The E.U. has already launched 16 rounds of sanctions on Syria, including a ban on Syrian oil exports and an asset freeze and travel ban on many top officials.