(July 29, 2020 / JNS) The United States imposed sanctions on Wednesday on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s oldest son, Hafez Assad, named after his grandfather. He was sanctioned along with three other individuals and 10 entities.
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.
“The targets of today’s sanctions include a corrupt Syrian businessman complicit in support to the regime and nine entities responsible for enriching the Syrian regime through construction of luxury real estate,” said the White House in a statement. “The United States also designated three Assad regime figures, including a senior regime general responsible for perpetuating the conflict in Syria, as well as the regime-controlled First Division of the Syrian Arab Army for its obstruction of a ceasefire in Syria.”
Wassim Anwar Al-Qattan is the businessman; the general is Zuhair Tawfiq al-Assad, whose son, Karam al-Assad, was also sanctioned.
“These designations also underscore the administration’s simple but firm position that no individual or entity should enter into business with or otherwise enrich such a vile regime,” said the White House. “Importantly, today’s actions are intended to hold the murderous Assad regime accountable. They are not directed at the Syrian people, whom the United States supports in their efforts for peace, stability and rule of law.”
“The Assad regime’s military has become a symbol of brutality, repression and corruption,” said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement. “They have killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, detained and tortured peaceful protesters, and destroyed schools, hospitals and markets without regard to human life.”
“It is time for Assad’s needless, brutal war to end,” he added. “This, above all, is what our sanctions campaign is meant to bring about.”
Last month, the United States sanctioned Bashar Assad and his wife, Asma.
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