BRUSSELS -- Officials say that the EU foreign ministers have slapped sanctions on the wife and other close relatives of Syrian President Bashar Assad in a continuing attempt to stop the violent crackdown on opposition.
They said four members of the Assad family and eight government ministers have been targeted in the latest round of sanctions. All three officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a decision will be announced later Friday following the foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels.
Asma Assad, 36, was born in London and has British citizenship, and an EU official said that likely meant she could not be banned from travel to the U.K.
The U.N. estimates that more than 8,000 people have been killed since an uprising began in Syria a year ago.
Raf Casert contributed to this report.
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma are seen at the Coupole restaurant in Paris on December 10, 2010. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (C), his wife Asma and French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand (L) look at a painting as they visit the exhibition dedicated to French painter Claude Monet at the Grand Palais on December 11, 2010 in Paris at the end of their official visit in France. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma walk in a street of Paris on December 10, 2010. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma deliver a speech to the Syrian Community on December 9, 2010 in Paris. (MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) and his wife Asma attend on November 9, 2010 an official welcoming ceremony in Sofia. (DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)
Syrian President Bashar Assad and his wife Asma visit a group of young athletes of special needs gathered at a hotel in Damascus late on September 5, 2010. (LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)
The President of Syria Bashar al-Assad (R) and his wife Asma al-Assad walk upon arrival at the Maiquetia international airport, in Caracas on June 25, 2010. (MIGUEL GUTIERREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) and his wife Asma (L) arrive at the Elysee palace on July 14, 2008, in Paris, to attend the traditional garden party as part the celebration of the Bastille Day. (DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)