Elizabeth Arrott - A View of Syria, Under Government Crackdown. VOA News photo gallery

In an attempt to further destabilize the Syrian economy, the U.S. has issued new sanctions on supporters of the Assad regime.

The U.S. has issued new sanctions on supporters of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, with the Department of the Treasury and Department of State targeting his wife Asma al-Assad alongside dozens of other individuals and entities.

These sanctions are authorized by the Caesar Act, a provision of the annual defense spending bill, and are some of the most severe on the Syrian government since the civil war started nine years ago.

“We anticipate many more sanctions and we will not stop until Assad and his regime stop their needless, brutal war against the Syrian people,” said Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, in a statement.

About the Sanctions

Before Wednesday, existing sanctions froze assets of the Syrian state and of companies and individuals linked to the government of al-Assad. They also restricted new investments, sales, and exports to Syria by any American resident or national.

In an effort to further cripple the Syrian economy, the new sanctions target individuals around the world, penalizing any foreign company or donors providing services to aid the regime’s reconstruction efforts.

Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany: This Administration is committed to a lasting political solution. 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 Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act was named after a former photographer for the Syrian military, codenamed Caesar, who leaked horrific photographs showing dead and mutilated prisoners in al-Assad’s  jails. In 2014, Caesar provided testimony to Congress, prompting the creation of the bill.

The Caesar Act is part of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, signed by President Donald Trump in 2019.

“This Administration is committed to a lasting political solution. 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”, said the Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

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Candy Chan

Candy Chan is studying History with a focus on War and Revolution at Barnard College. She is currently a staff writer at the Columbia Daily Spectator, covering issues pertaining to Columbia's...

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