Sanctions against Assad’s associates and the future of Syria

US imposes new sanctions on Assad entourage, vows ‘sustained campaign’ against Syrian regime

Richard Weitz: the purpose of these sanctions – keep people from new crimes

As US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday, Washington imposed sanctions on 18 Syrian individuals and entities for «supporting Assad’s war machine and opposing efforts to end the Syrian conflict». The State Department notes: sanctions are necessary to force the Assad regime to end the war against its own people and resolve the crisis in the country by political means.

Recall that the Foreign Assets Control Department of the Ministry of Finance imposed sanctions on a number of representatives of the Syrian regime on Tuesday; the Central Bank of Syria is included in the sanctions list.

The move is intended to prevent further investment in government-controlled areas of Syria, force the regime to end its bloody crimes against the Syrian people, and secure its commitment to the UN-facilitated peace process, the ministry said in a statement..

The State Department also published its sanctions list..

«The position of the US government is absolutely clear: we stand in solidarity with the people of Syria and reaffirm our support for the path to peace, as outlined in UN Security Council Resolution 2254. As we can see, this week the US has imposed sanctions against 18 individuals and legal entities for supporting Assad’s military machine.», – said in an interview with the Russian service «Voices of America» Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrea Kalan.

Among the persons involved in the list – Assad’s wife Asma, as well as a high-ranking employee of his administration Lina Mohammed Nazir al-Kinaye and her husband.

«They have amassed their wealth at the expense of the Syrian people, and they control a vast illegal network in Europe with connections in the Gulf countries and elsewhere. Meanwhile, when they enrich themselves and receive huge funds, ordinary Syrians means Syrian citizens they wait to stand in long lines to buy bread, fuel and medicine.», – stated Kalan.

Sanctions against Assad's associates and the future of Syria

The State Department emphasizes that the sanctions will remain in place until the Assad regime ends the war against the people of Syria. However, Kalan reminds, the conflict can only be resolved through political means..

Hudson Institute expert Richard Weitz notes the consistency of US policy towards the Assad regime.

«Earlier, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing at which the sanctions were discussed in detail. Purpose of sanctions – both previous and these – keep people from committing new crimes or acts of corruption, keep other countries from supporting and interacting with the regime, and (ensure) that other countries also punish those individuals for past crimes. Sanctions – it is part of the US toolkit for influencing the future of Syria. During Congressional hearings, lawmakers questioned why no sanctions were imposed on others. – non-Syrian – in particular, Russian organizations», – says Weitz.

Political scientist notes: Biden’s team may consolidate and restructure existing sanctions against Syria to make them more effective.

Sanctions against Assad's associates and the future of Syria

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