Brussels: The European Union has slapped asset and travel freezes on Syria's Defence Minister, Ali Habib Mahmud and the head of the army's internal security.

EU's official journal said on Tuesday the 62-year old Defence Chief, along with Major General Tawfiq Younes, head of internal security, and three other individuals were added to the bloc's sanctions list.

The EU decision on Monday to expand that list brings the number of targeted individuals to 35,  including President Bashar Assad. Four government entities are also on the list.

The latest names include Mohammed Makhlouf, identified as Assad's close associate and maternal uncle, as well as Mohammad Mufleh, head of military intelligence in the central city of Hama where much of the unrest has taken place.