EU slaps sanctions on 12 Syrian ministers, citing grave human rights violations

The European Union says it is placing sanctions on 12 ministers of the Syrian government because of their responsibility "for serious human rights violations."

The EU said Monday they will be banned from traveling to the 28-nation bloc and will see any assets held there frozen.

The targeting of Cabinet ministers appears to reflect the increasing frustration with the political stalemate in Syria following President Bashar Assad's re-election this month despite the country's three-year civil war.

The ministers' names were not released pending their publication in the EU's legal journal Tuesday.

The new measures bring the number of Syrian officials subject to EU sanctions to 191. In addition, there are sanctions against 53 Syrian entities linked by the EU to Assad's repressive policies, including the central bank.