US imposes sanctions on Assad’s son and 13 other Syrian officials, entities

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WASHINGTON — The United States on Wednesday slapped a slew of new sanctions against President Bashar Al-Assad's government with an aim to deprive his government of funds. — Courtesy photo
WASHINGTON — The United States on Wednesday slapped a slew of new sanctions against President Bashar Al-Assad's government with an aim to deprive his government of funds. — Courtesy photo

WASHINGTON — The United States on Wednesday slapped a slew of new sanctions against President Bashar Al-Assad's government with an aim to deprive his government of funds.

Among the 14 blacklisted on Wednesday are Assad's son, Hafez, a Syrian businessman and nine entities accused of helping to fund the Syrian government's "campaign of terror".

“While corrupt businessmen with ties to Assad invest in luxury real estate made possible by forced displacement of innocent civilians, they also worsen the oppression of the Syrian people,” said US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin. “The United States remains committed to providing humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, while the Assad regime seeks to profit from their suffering.”

Commenting on the sanctions, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a tweet said: “Today we continue our campaign of sanctions designed to force Bashar al-Assad and his regime to cease their brutal war against the Syrian people and implement the political solution called for by UNSCR 2254. This is the only credible path to the peace the Syrian people deserve.

This is the second US sanction under the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 (Caesar Act). All targets sanctioned under the Caesar Act are believed to be supporting and helping the reconstruction efforts of Assad in some way. The first sanction under the Caesar Act targeted nine entities and took place on June 17, 2020.

The US says it believes that the entities targeted in their sanctions profit from Syria’s problems, naming in their press release the July 2011 siege of city of Hama and the July 2019 bombing of the Maarat Al-Numan market.

During the July 2011 siege of Hama, the Syrian government deployed its army to crack down on anti-government protests, resulting in mass civilian deaths and casualties.

The Maarat Al-Numan market bombing was an aerial terror attack that killed and wounded many civilians. The United Nations Human Rights Council said that the attack came from “pro-government forces intended to terrorize civilians in an effort to depopulate the zone and accelerate its capture.” — Agencies


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