United States imposes sanctions on figures and entities of the Syrian Ba’ath regime

WASHINGTON – As part of the continued U.S. pressure campaign against the Syrian Ba’ath regime, the U.S. Treasury Department has imposed new sanctions targeting 8 individuals and 10 entities, including several related to Asma al-Assad, wife of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, and the Syrian Central Bank.

The U.S. State Department said in a statement on Tuesday that the sanctioned names are full regime affiliates and have blocked efforts to reach any political solution to end the Syrian conflict. The sanctioned figures have led efforts to consolidate the regime’s economic and political power over the country, including under the cover of charitable and civil society organizations. The sanctions target several members of Asma al-Assad family – namely Fawaz al-Akhras, Sahar Ottari al-Akhras, Firas and Iyad al-Akhras – because of the their accumulation of illicit wealth at the expense of the Syrian people through illegal association with networks in Europe, the Arabian Gulf and elsewhere, the Treasury Department said in its statement.

The sanctions also included Lina Mohammed Nazir Kanaya, director of the Syrian Presidential Office, as well as her husband and Member of Syrian Parliament Mohammed Hammam Mohammed Adnan Masuti, and four companies owned by the couple. The commander of the Syrian Military Intelligence Major General Kifah Melhem, was also sanctioned for his actions in blocking efforts to come to a ceasefire in Syria and increasing the suffering of Syrians.