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EU freezes assets of firms suspected of shipping oil to Syrian regime

July 24, 2014 at 1:13 pm

The EU froze on Wednesday the assets of two oil companies as they suspect them in taking part in covert oil shipments for the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad.

According to Reuters, both companies were among nine others and three people added to the EU’s Syria sanctions list, published in the Official Journal of the EU.

Al-Assad’s government has been blacklisted by Western powers for its role in the country’s three-year civil war, which has killed at least 160,000 people.

The firms are: Oceans Petroleum Trading, based in Beirut, and Tri Oceans Trading, an Egyptian firm. Their assets in the 28 EU member states will now be frozen.

The bloc said the firms “provides support to and benefits from the Syrian regime”.

Reuters reported last December that the Syrian government was getting substantial imports of Iraqi crude oil from an Egyptian port. This covert trading has kept Al-Assad’s military running despite the Western sanctions.