European Union member states on Monday agreed to issue a weapons embargo against Syria and impose sanctions upon 13 of its nationals, paving the way for the restrictive measures to enter into force Tuesday.

The embargo is meant to block weapons "that could be used for internal repression" from being exported to Syria, the European Council said late Monday.

Asset freezes and travel bans are also to be applied to 13 unnamed "officials and associates of the Syrian regime who have been identified ... as being responsible for the violent repression against the civilian population," the European Council said.

EU diplomats indicated last week that President Bashar Assad will not be among that group. The full list of those targeted by the sanctions is to be published in the EU's official journal on Tuesday, marking their entry into force.

Rights groups say more than 600 people have been killed and 8,000 jailed or gone missing in Syria as part of a crackdown on protesters since March. Opposition groups put the death toll at over 700.