Canada\'s Suncor Energy says it is suspending its operations in Syria following European Union sanctions against the Middle Eastern country. The company said in a release Sunday it was working to safely withdraw its expatriates while retaining and supporting its Syrian employees during the current Syrian turmoil and the EU sanctions announced Dec. 2. \"We\'ve been monitoring developments in the region very closely during the last several months, and we\'ve always been clear that we would comply with all relevant sanctions imposed on the country,\" Suncor Chief Executive Officer Rick George said. \"The current situation in Syria is very concerning, and our thoughts are with the Syrian people as we hope for a return to peace as soon as possible.\" Suncor said it was exercising a contractual force majeure clause with the General Petroleum Corp. in Syria. This clause allows either party to withdraw from a contract without liability due to an event beyond either one\'s control. The company said its action in Syria would not change its 2011 or 2012 production estimates because Libyan production is ramping up. Suncor\'s operations include oil sands development and upgrading, conventional and offshore oil and gas production, petroleum refining and product marketing under the Petro-Canada brand, the release said.