The State Department and the Treasury Department announced Wednesday that 14 additional sanctions have been imposed on the Assad regime in an attempt to end the nine-year civil war in Syria.
Economic sanctions and individual indications began last month under the Caesar Syria Civil Protection Act, signed by President Trump in December last year.
The Caesar Act is named after a Syrian military photographer who leaked images of thousands of Syrians being tortured and killed in prisons placed across the country.
“The military of the Assad regime has become a symbol of brutality, repression and corruption,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday. “They killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, arrested and tortured peaceful protesters, and destroyed schools, hospitals, and markets without regard to human life.”;
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Four individuals and 10 entities actively supporting President Bashar al-Assad’s violence were the most recent targets of sanctions – including his adult son Hafez al-Assad.
A Syrian businessman and nine other entities have been mentioned in accomplices of the atrocities committed by the regime, allegedly enriching the government through the development of luxury real estate.
About 50 sanctions have been imposed on the Syrian government through the Caesar Act since June, including on Assad’s wife Asma al-Assad.
“I will make a special note about the first-time nomination of Asma al-Assad … who with the support of her husband and members of her Akhras family has become one of the most profited Syria’s notoriety, ”Pompeo said last month.
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Wednesday’s sanctions were named after two Syrian cities that experienced notorious atrocities under the Assad regime in 2011 and then in 2019.
“Nine years ago, Bashar al-Assad’s troops carried out a brutal siege of the city of Hama, killing a number of peaceful protesters with a shocking sign of what was to come,” Pompeo said in a statement. “A year ago, the Assad regime and its allies bombed a busy market in Marat Al-Numan, killing 42 innocent Syrians.”
The White House has vowed to pursue more sanctions if Assad does not stop the brutal war that has killed about half a million people and displaced another 11 million.
The United States has contributed $ 11.3 billion in aid to humanitarian support in the region since the outbreak of the conflict.
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“The Caesar Act and other US Syrian sanctions are not intended to harm the Syrian people and do not target humanitarian aid or disrupt our stabilization activities in northeastern Syria,” said Pompey.
“The Assad regime and its supporters have a simple choice: take irreversible steps towards a lasting political solution to end the Syrian conflict as called for by UNSCR 2254 or face new parts of sanctions that affect,” he added.