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US sanctions on 4 Syrian ministers, rebel leader

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration has added four Syrian government ministers to a U.S. terror blacklist as well as the leader of an al-Qaida-linked organization fighting President Bashar Assad's (bah-SHAR' AH'-sahd) regime.

Thursday's actions highlight America's twin goals in Syria: It wants the Assad regime to end but doesn't want extremists taking power.

The Treasury Department targeted the defense, health, industry and justice ministers in Assad's government, plus a Syrian TV station and its national airline. Assets they have in the U.S. are blocked; Americans are prohibited from doing business with them.

Meanwhile, the State Department designated Jabhat al-Nusra leader Muhammad al-Jawlani as a "global terrorist," subjecting him to similar sanctions.

It said al-Jawlani aims to create an Islamist state in Syria, and it blamed him for terrorist attacks on civilians.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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