(June 17, 2020 / JNS) The United States imposed sanctions on 39 Syrian individuals and entities on Wednesday, including Syrian President Bashar Assad and his wife, Asma, in an attempt to choke off revenue for the regime.
The sanctions were imposed under the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 that, in addition to targeting the Assad regime’s revenue, targets Russian efforts in Syria that have enabled in civilian deaths during a seven-year civil war that some have labeled as a genocide by Assad.
“Since the 2011 start to the Syrian conflict, the Assad regime has committed innumerable atrocities against Syrians, including arbitrary detention, torture, sexual violence and murder,” said White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany in a statement. “These despicable acts have devastated the country’s people, infrastructure and economy, displacing more than half of Syria’s population.”
She continued, “Today’s designations send a clear message that no individual or business should enter into business with or otherwise enrich such a vile regime.”
In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, “We anticipate many more sanctions, and we will not stop until Assad and his regime stop their needless, brutal war against the Syrian people.”
The U.S. sanctions do not impact humanitarian assistance, according to Pompeo.
“The Assad regime has a choice: take irreversible steps towards a peaceful resolution of the nearly decade-long conflict or face further crippling sanctions,” he said.
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