US Treasury expands sanctions against Syria


A Syrian man stands on his destroyed home in Aleppo on Feb. 23, 2013.


Pablo Tosco

The US Treasury Department has announced new sanctions against four Syrian government ministers as well as a state-owned airline and a television station that it said have helped the Assad regime commit human rights abuses against Syrians.

The US assets of the people and organizations on the sanction list are frozen, and Americans are forbidden from doing business with them.

According to Reuters:

In 2011, the United States froze all Syrian assets in the United States and barred US citizens from making new investments or exporting services to Syria.

During the two-year civil war in Syria, Treasury has sanctioned about 100 individuals and Syria’s government, central bank and oil companies.

The four Syrian officials placed on the sanctions list today were Defense Minister Fahd Jassem Freij, Health Minister Saad Nayef, Industry Minister Adnan Sukhni and Justice Minister Najm Ahmad. 

The airline, Syrian Arab Airlines, landed on the list for transporting weapons and ammunition from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's elite Quds Force to Syria, Treasury officials said.

Correspondents for the TV station, Al Dunya, a privately owned 24-hour, satellite channel, allegedly shared interviews of Syrians who criticized the Assad government with Syrian intelligence and broadcast forced confessions.

“Treasury will continue to use all of the tools at our disposal to expose and disrupt the financial networks of those responsible for the Syrian government’s egregious campaign to suppress its people,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen said in a statement.

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