United States Widens Sanctions on Syria

New American sanctions target individuals and entities providing energy products used by the Assad regime in fighting its own people.

Ben Ariel ,

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad

The United States widened sanctions on Syria on Monday, targeting individuals and entities it says are providing energy products used by the Assad regime in fighting its own people, AFP reported.

The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on seven entities and four individuals, and named seven vessels as blocked property.

"Many of these entities are front companies that the Government of Syria and its supporters have used in an attempt to evade U.S. and EU sanctions," the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control said in a statement quoted by AFP.

In addition, the Treasury identified six Syrian government entities and three vessels in which the government has an interest.

The sanctions freeze any American assets of the individuals and entities and bars Americans from any transactions with them.

"Treasury will continue to employ its robust financial tools to weaken Assad's support network," said Adam Szubin, acting under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in the statement.

"These targeted sanctions intensify the economic and financial pressure on the Syrian government to cease its campaign of violence against its people."

In May, the European Union (EU) added a high-ranking Syrian military official to its sanctions list as it extended measures against supporters of President Bashar Al-Assad for another year.

And in late July, the United States Treasury imposed sanctions on three Hezbollah military officials and a businessman tied to the group, citing their support for the Assad regime.

Monday’s fresh sanctions came on the heels of the White House's announcement earlier that the U.S. could take "additional steps" to defend U.S.-allied fighters in Syria and warned Assad's regime not to impede their actions.

Among those the Treasury designated for sanctions was The Eagles, a Syria-based company; Morgan Additives Manufacturing, a Dubai-based company; and Milenyum Energy, registered in Panama and operating in Turkey, for their ties to Wael Abdulkarim and the Abdulkarim Group, which are already subject to U.S. sanctions.

According to the Treasury, in early March Wael Abdulkarim worked with The Eagles to pay Milenyum nearly $5 million for a shipment of gasoil that Milenyum was believed to have provided for shipment to Syria.

Sanctions on Syria allow certain exports and re-exports of items such as food, medicine, and medical devices to Syria as well as related services.