On the eve of the summit, several diplomatic sources within the Union reported that the European authorities had added new names to the list of Syrian officials covered by the visa sanctions and asset freezes.
According to European media, nearly 150 people and organizations were included in total to the “black list” drawn up in response to the repression of anti-government protests are continuing in Syria since mid-March 2011. Sanctions were also imposed against several structures close to the Syrian regime, including the national airline, the Central Bank and export companies.
Since mid-March 2011, Syria has been rocked by a powerful protest movement against the regime. According to UN estimates, the suppression of the revolt would have already killed more than 8,000 dead. In addition, more than 2,000 police and Syrian military were killed by insurgents. Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (OSDH) for its part considers the total number of dead at 9,000 people a year.