ABC News' Jake Tapper reports:
In the wake of the Syrian government slaughtering demonstrators and committing other human rights abuses, President Obama issued an executive order Friday afternoon imposing further sanctions against Syrian leaders.
On Monday, ABC News reported the president was considering such sanctions.
The president’s actions freeze the assets and ban Americans from doing business with three individuals -- Mahir Al-Asad, the Brigade Commander in the Syrian Army’s Fourth Armored Division; Ali Mamluk, director of the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate; and Atif Najob, the former head of the Syrian Political Security Directorate for Dar’a Province.
The same sanctions are also imposed against two groups: the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – Qods Force.
“The Government of Syria's human rights abuses…constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States,” the president says in his executive order.
The US government already has imposed sanctions against Syria, including the Syria Accountability Act of 2004 which bans the export to Syria of most goods containing more than 10% U.S.-manufactured component parts. The USA Patriot Act in 2006 included a specific sanction against the Commercial Bank of Syria.
In addition, previous Executive Orders from the President have also denied certain Syrians and Syrian organizations access to the US financial system because of their involvement in corruption, destabilizing activities in Iraq and Lebanon, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, or association with al Qaeda, the Taliban or Osama bin Laden.