08/25/2011 06:08 EDT | Updated 10/25/2011 05:12 EDT

Syria Protests Lead To Visa Card Cut-Off As U.S. Sanctions Kick In


BEIRUT - Syria's state-run bank says Visa cards issued in the country are no longer valid.

The Commercial Bank of Syria said in a statement faxed to The Associated Press on Thursday that the measure stems from new U.S. sanctions targeting Syria.

The sanctions were imposed as a result of President Bashar Assad's deadly crackdown on a 5-month-old uprising.

The state-run CBS, which is on the blacklist, said the sanctions imposed by the U.S. will punish Syrian citizens and foreign tourists, who will now have to deal in cash.

Visa cards were only issued in Syria starting in 2005.