U.S. announced it plans to expand the war to Syria

On April 29 the White House issued an executive order to enforce new and more stringent sanctions against Syria and appealed to European North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies to follow suit.

In a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives President Barack Obama wrote, "I have determined that the Government of Syria's human rights abuses....constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and warrant the imposition of additional sanctions."

His order targeted among others Syrian President Bashar Assad's brother Mahir and cousin Atif Najib and also included - in an indication that broader objectives are also being pursued however tenuous, even farfetched, the link - the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, with the presidential demarche contending: "Despite the Government of Iran's public rhetoric claiming revolutionary solidarity with people throughout the region, Iran's actions in support of the Syrian regime place it in stark opposition to the will of the Syrian people."