The bill, to be released Sunday by Democratic Sens. Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York, would require President Obama to identify violators of human rights and call for reform and protection of pro-democracy demonstrators. It would also block any financial aid and property transactions in the United States involving Syrian leaders tied to the crackdown on protests.
The sanctions measure, to be proposed this week, would also prohibit the sale of high technology and telecommunications to Syria by any companies if the technology could be used for what the senators call censorship or human rights abuse. Visas to the United States would also be denied.
The 10-month uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad has turned increasingly militarized and chaotic as more frustrated regime opponents and army defectors arm themselves and fight back against government forces. The conflict in Syria has marked the most serious challenge to Mr. Assad, who took over from his father in 2000. There have been three suicide bombings in the capital since late December for which the government blamed terrorists.
“Assad has brutally violated the human rights of his own people while killing thousands of Syrian citizens and fostering terrorism across his borders,” Ms. Gillibrand said in a statement. “This new bill is an important step to end the bloodshed by the Syrian government and provide the Syrian people with tools needed to take back their own country.”
Mr. Schumer said Syria shows no desire to stop the bloodshed.
Yemen’s leader cleared for U.S. medical visit
A senior Obama administration official says Yemen’s outgoing leader has been cleared to come to the U.S. for medical treatment.
The official says the U.S. expects Ali Abdullah Saleh to be in the U.S. for a limited time. The official did not say when Mr. Saleh would arrive.
Earlier Sunday, a presidential spokesman in Yemen said Mr. Saleh had left the capital on a jet headed for the Persian Gulf sultanate of Oman and would be making another stop before going to the U.S.
Mr. Saleh requested a visa so he could travel to the U.S. last month.
The official was not authorized to discuss details about Mr. Saleh and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Obama marks anniversary of Roe v. Wade decision
President Obama is marking the 39th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision by saying the ruling was more than just about establishing a woman’s right to an abortion.