The US State Department has imposed sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad's eldest son, Hafez, keeping up pressure on the leader and his inner circle.

Separately, the US Treasury Department announced it had imposed sanctions on prominent Syrian businessman Wassim al-Qattan and nine entities for enriching the Syrian regime through construction of luxury real estate.

The Treasury sanctions are the result of legislation known as the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, named after the pseudonym of a Syrian policeman who turned over photographs of thousands of victims of torture by the Assad Government.

Sanctions imposed last month included Assad and his wife, Asmaa, members of the extended Assad family, senior military leaders and business executives.

It was the first time that the sanctions name any of Bashar Assad's three children. 

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