US blacklists 271 Syrian scientists over Sarin attack

US blacklists 271 Syrian scientists over Sarin attack
Washington imposes 'sweeping' sanctions on experts belonging to the centre thought to be responsible for producing the chemical weapons used on civilians earlier this month.
2 min read
24 April, 2017

The United States has imposed 'sweeping sanctions' on Syrian chemists and other experts in response to the chemical attack that killed over 80 civilians earlier this month.

The sactions imposed by the Treasury Department will freeze the US assets of 271 employees of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC). It also ordered that American individuals and businesses be blocked from dealing with them.

According to a statement from Washington, the SSRC produced the chemical weapons and the means used to deliver them in the attack.

"We intend to hold the Assad regime accountable for its unacceptable behavior," Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said at the White House.

In the aftermath of the attack, the Pentagon launched a one-off attack on a Syrian government airbase as a warning to President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

Monday's sanctions announcement had been indicated earlier on in the month by Mnuchin, who told reporters that "they will be coming out in the near future" a day after President Donald Trump's surprise attack on Syria. 

"These sanctions are very important and we will use them to the maximum effect," he added.

Mnuchin explained that the sanctions would affect businesses around the world, saying they will "have enormous impact with all of our partners around the world who also work with us on...these issues".