Syria's ruling family, henchmen and investors hit by sanctions under Caesar Act

Syria's ruling family, henchmen and investors hit by sanctions under Caesar Act
The US Department of State and Treasury hit Syria's elite, henchmen and investors with brand new sanctions on Wednesday, pressuring the regime to hold peace talks.
2 min read
17 June, 2020
Assad linked businesses and figures will be targeted in the sanctions [Getty]
The US on Wednesday released a list of new names of Syria's ruling family members, businesses, and other entities who will face tough new sanctions under the Caesar Act.

The US Department of State said that 39 Syrian companies and individuals - including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, his siblings, and wife - had been designated for new sanctions under the Caesar Act.

The sanctions went into effect on Wednesday and aims at cutting off funds to the regime to pressure Assad into accepting UN-backed peace talks.

The first round of designations announced earlier Wednesday targeted individuals including Bashar Al-Assad and his wife Asma. 

Assad's brother Maher - one of the most important military figures in Syria - and his wife Manal were also on the list.

In a seperate list, the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned 24 individual investors, business figures, and entities who are actively supporting reconstruction efforts in Syria that directly benefit Assad.

In addition to those already named, a secondary part of the Caesar Act will allow the US to sanction people from other countries who deal with Assad's regime.

James Jeffrey, US envoy to Syria, told The National that follow-up sanctions were to be expected, especially on those dealing with the Syria regime in reconstruction, oil and gas, and aviation sectors.

"The Caesar Act is very broad in secondary sanctions, allow us to sanction entities from other countries that are dealing with the government, if they are dealing in the aviation sector, in the oil and gas sector, or the reconstruction sector, we are looking very carefully and closely at everyone both Syrian and non-Syrian," Jeffrey was quoted as saying. 

In a tweet, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the campaign of sanctions serve "to hold the Assad regime and its foreign enablers accountable for their brutal acts against the Syrian people".

Read more: What is the Caesar Act and how will new US sanctions impact Syria?

Pompeo warned that more sanctions will be slapped on Assad's allies and backers should the regime fail to stop its "needless, brutal war" and agree to a political solution called for by the UN.

The sanctions prohibit all US citizens from doing business with people and companies listed. Any assets owned by the designated people kept in the US must also blocked and reported to OFAC, according to statements released by the government.

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