Trump administration imposes new sanctions on Syria
The Trump administration on Wednesday issued a new round of sanctions on Syrian government officials aimed at forcing the hand of Syrian President Bashar Assad to negotiate a political settlement to end the nearly decadelong civil war.
“It is time for Assad’s needless, brutal war to end. This, above all, is what our sanctions campaign is meant to bring about,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement, and called for a political solution under the agreed terms of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254.
“The Assad regime and those who support it have a simple choice: take irreversible steps toward a lasting political solution to end the Syrian conflict as called for by UNSCR 2254 or face new tranches of crippling sanctions,” he added.
The sanctions imposed by the State and Treasury departments include four individuals and 10 entities. These include sanctions on Assad’s adult son Hafez, the First Division of the Syrian Arab Army and its general, and a Syrian businessman with government contracts for luxury tourism construction projects.
Sanctioned individuals are generally blacklisted from doing business with U.S. citizens or utilizing American institutions, but the designations Wednesday went farther to include that any non-U.S. person may run afoul of sanctions violations if they engage in certain transactions with designated persons or entities.
“While corrupt businessmen with ties to Assad invest in luxury real estate made possible by forced displacement of innocent civilians, they also worsen the oppression of the Syrian people,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “The United States remains committed to providing humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people, while the Assad regime seeks to profit from their suffering.”
It is the second time the Trump administration has issued sanctions under the Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act, which had earlier put sanctions on Assad, his wife and nine other individuals.
The White House said in a statement that more sanctions will follow as part of a sustained campaign to put economic and political pressure to deny the Assad regime resources to wage war against the Syrian people.
“This Administration remains committed to a lasting political solution in Syria. The Assad regime and its patrons must recognize that a political resolution is the only viable mechanism to bring a peaceful end to the Syrian conflict,” the statement read.