Australia is ramping up sanctions against Syria in protest against the regime's violent suppression of demonstrators.

Syrian soldiers rolled into flash point cities in tanks and set up sand barriers topped with machine guns Thursday, as their President Bashar Assad's deadly crackdown on dissent pulled the country deeper into international isolation.

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said on Friday his government is ramping up targeted financial sanctions initiated in April against key regime figures responsible for human rights abuses and is also imposing an embargo on arms and other equipment used for internal repression.