Even Amid Scrutiny, Syrian Arms Deals Likely Bypass Bank Controls with Ease

By Colby Adams

As international pressure against Syria's crackdown on protesters mounts, efforts by financial institutions to identify transactions related to Syrian arms deals will likely prove fruitless, say analysts. Earlier this month, Russia and China blocked a planned U.N. resolution asking nations to implement an arms embargo against the Assad government. The U.N. General Assembly is expected to vote this week on a new resolution calling on Syrian forces to end civilian attacks, but not including an arms embargo. For banks in the United States and European Union, any further step to limit Syria's access to weapons would only reinforce existing sanctions....