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U.S. Wants Syrian Energy Sanctions

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 (UPI) — Washington wants to see its European partners put more pressure on the Syrian oil and natural gas sector with sanctions, the U.S. secretary of state said.

International pressure is mounting on Syrian President Bashar Assad as bloodshed in the country continues. The U.N. Security Council stopped short of issuing a formal resolution, though international sanctions against regime officials are piling up.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in an interview on the “CBS Evening News” said sanctions needed to target Syria’s energy sector.

“We’ve issued more sanctions, tougher sanctions,” she said. “We’re working with our European and other friends. But what we really need to do to put the pressure on Assad is to sanction the oil and gas industry and we want to see Europe take more steps in that direction.”

She added that China and India should step on line with Western powers in targeting Syrian oil and natural gas “because India and China have large energy investments inside of Syria.”

Syria exports crude oil to European countries. The 150,000 barrels of crude exported each day provides Damascus with around 30 percent of its federal revenue.

London-listed Gulfsands Petroleum said in an operational update Monday that it was producing 124,000 barrels of oil per day, with most of that production operated by the Syrian Petroleum Co.

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