Bashar Al-Assad
Bashar Al-AssadReuters

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's family is likely worth $1-2 billion, the US State Department said Thursday, despite US-led efforts to isolate the Syrian President over the civil war in the country, AFP reported.

In a report required by Congress, the State Department said it could only provide an "inexact estimate" with the Assads believed to hold assets under fictitious names or through opaque property dealings.

"Estimates based on open-source information generally put the Assad family net worth at between $1-2 billion," said the publicly released part of the report, some of which was classified.

Quoting non-governmental and media reports, the State Department said that the Assads run "a complex patronage system including shell companies and corporate facades that serves as a tool for the regime to access financial resources."

The estimate includes the president's wife, brother, sister, cousins and uncle, most of whom are under US sanctions.

The State Department said it did not have enough information on the net worth of the president's three children, the youngest of whom is 17.

Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the US has sanctioned the Assad family. In July of 2020, the US government imposed sanctions on Assad's son Hafez, in addition to 13 other people.

In December of that year, the United States slapped sanctions on Syria’s central bank and several people and entities close to Assad, including his wife.

The Syrian President has repeatedly rejected ties with the United States and other countries that support Syrian rebels, whom he calls “terrorists”.

Despite Assad’s statement, it was reported in October of 2020 that a White House official traveled to Damascus for secret meetings with the Syrian government. According to the report, the official sought the release of at least two US citizens thought to be held in Syria.