WASHINGTON: The United States on Monday imposed sanctions on officials, entities and individuals it accused of providing support to Syrian President Bashar Assad as Washington continued to impose sanctions aimed at cutting off funds for Assad’s government.
The action, which also targeted the Syrian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, marks another round of sanctions in Washington’s bid to push Assad’s government back to United Nations-led negotiations and broker an end to the country’s nearly decade-long war.
The US Treasury Department in a statement said it slapped sanctions on Syrian military officials, members of the Parliament, Government of Syria entities as well as on Syrian and Lebanese people it accused of attempting to revive Syria’s petroleum industry.
“The Treasury Department is determined to continue to apply economic pressure on the Assad regime and its supporters for the repression conducted by the regime,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.
A crackdown by Assad on protesters in 2011 led to civil war, with Iran and Russia backing the government and the US supporting the opposition.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the sanctions on 19 businessmen, Syrian Parliament members, and financial and military officials were issued “for supporting Bashar al Assad’s needless, brutal war against the Syrian people.”
Today, the U.S. sanctioned 19 businesses, Syrian Parliament members, financiers, and military officials for supporting Bashar al Assad’s needless, brutal war against the Syrian people. Implementing UNSCR 2254, including a nationwide ceasefire, remains the only path forward.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) November 9, 2020
Millions of people have fled Syria and millions more have been internally displaced.
Syria has been under US and European Union sanctions that have frozen the assets of the state and hundreds of companies and individuals. Washington already bans exports to Syria and investment there by Americans, as well as transactions involving oil and hydrocarbon products.