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U.S. Extends Sanctions Against Syria

President Barack Obama has renewed for another year U.S. sanctions against Syria -- saying Damascus continues to support terrorist organizations and pursue weapons of mass destruction and missile programs.

Obama said in a statement that Syria's actions and policies "pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States."

The statement did offer some praise, saying the Syrian government had "made some progress" in suppressing the infiltration of foreign fighters trying to enter neighboring Iraq.

The Obama administration has reportedly been seeking to improve its relations with Syria in a bid to strengthen Washington's Middle East peace efforts and stabilize Iraq.

But Syria has also recently come under U.S. allegations that it has tried to arm Lebanese Hizballah guerrillas with rockets and missiles.

compiled from agency reports