Shell bows to pressure to withdraw from Syria

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Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has decided to stop all its operations in Syria. The company wants to support a new round of sanctions imposed on the country, a spokeperson announced on Friday.

“The personal safety of our employees is our most important priority. We hope the situation improves quickly for all Syrians,” he added.

Western and Arab countries have been intensifying punitive sanctions to press President Bashar al-Assad to halt bloodshed by withdrawing forces from the streets, starts transition talks with the opposition and admit Arab League observers. Blacklist Today, the EU extended sanctions to three Syrian oil concerns, including the state-owned General Petroleum Corporation GPC and Syria Trading Oil Sytrol, to crank up the financial pressure on the Assad government.

The three oil concerns were among 11 entities and 12 Syrian leadership figures added to an EU blacklist now aimed in part at bringing the Syrian ventures of oil giants to a halt. Royal Dutch Shell was the first to bow out, deepening the international isolation of al-Assad.. Civil war spectre In the latest bloodshed, Syrian army defectors killed eight Air Force intelligence personnel in an attack on their base in the north of the country, according to an opposition group.

The incident suggested that armed deserters are turning increasingly from defending civilian protesters against violent repression by Assad's security forces to an offensive of ambushes and roadside bombs, raising the spectre of civil war.

More than 4,000 people have been killed, including 307 children, in the military crackdown on unrest since March and more than 14,000 people are believed to be held in detention, claims UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay.


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