( dpa )- The United States has placed Syria on a special watch list for ocean-going vessels because of concerns about its connections to international terrorism, US officials said Thursday.
The measure was put in place by the US Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security, said Tom Casey, deputy spokesman for the US State Department.
Syria has been added to the port security advisory list, which means the US Coast Guard can impose added security requirements for ships arriving in US ports that have called in Syria within their last five ports of call, Casey said.
The transport restriction marks the latest effort by Washington to pressure Damascus over concerns the country serves as a staging point for destabilizing Iraq.
Last week, the US Treasury Department enacted sanctions on four individuals in Syria accused of supplying al-Qaeda in Iraq with weapons and money.
" Syria remains the primary point for foreign fighters to transfer into Iraq," Casey said last week. "And we think the Syrian government has a lot more that it can do to deal with this issue."