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Canada adds to sanctions on Syria

Jessica Hume. (Andre Forget/QMI AGENCY)

By Jessica Hume, National Bureau

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. (Chris Roussakis/QMI Agency)

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. (Chris Roussakis/QMI Agency)



In a move that shows his increasing frustration with the murderous Syrian regime, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has announced an eighth round of sanctions against the war-torn country.

On, Friday, Baird added 47 individuals and three entities to the list of names prohibited from business dealings with Canadian groups.

"The Assad regime's bloody assault on the people of Syria continues unabated," Baird said. "Canada is responding today with additional measures to further isolate and increase pressure on the regime and to erode its capacity for repression."

More than 20,000 people have died so far in the violence that has ripped apart the country since protests to remove Assad from power began in earnest during the Arab Spring last year. At least 180,000 have been displaced with the vast majority going to refugee camps in Jordan.

The Canadian government has repeatedly affirmed it will not intervene militarily, but Baird again urged the UN Security Council to adopt binding sanctions against Syria.

Houchang Hassan-Yari, Middle East expert at Queen's University and the Royal Military College, said while sanctions were both needed and effective, more could be done to help the Syrian people.

"What would give more tangible results to the Syrian people is if Canada works better with America, France, Germany, Arab countries to unify the opposition," Dr. Hassan-Yari said. "Next they help the unified opposition create a government, and then they recognize that government. That would give more incentive to the people fighting the regime."


What should Canada's role be in Syria?

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