United States reiterates its commitment to sanctions on the Syrian regime, opposes reconstruction plans

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. State Department has confirmed that Washington has not lifted its sanctions against the Syrian regime and will not alter its opposition to the Syrian regime’s reconstruction plans. This comes in response to a decision made by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to build a solar power plant in rural Daramsuq (Damascus).

During UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed’s recent visit to Syria, he announced the decision to build the solar power plant. However the U.S. State Department spokesman said Secretary of State Anthony Blinken had made it clear that Washington had not lifted sanctions on Syria, nor had they changed their position on opposing reconstruction being conducted on the terms of the Syrian regime. According to the State Department, such policy changes could only be made if there was significant progress toward a political solution.

“While humanitarian assistance to Syria is excluded from sanctions, many other investments in regime-controlled areas are not excluded,” the spokesman said, according to Al Hurra.

Washington imposed sanctions on the Syrian regime under the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act at the beginning of last year. The law provides for sanctions against anyone who cooperates with the Syrian regime to rebuild Syria as part of an effort to encourage accountability for human rights violations. The Caesar Act, which is a package of U.S. sanctions against individuals, institutions, and businesses close to the regime, aims to hold the Assad regime accountable for its human rights violations and encourage a political solution in Syria.

The name of the law establishing sanctions comes from the alias of a former photographer in the documentation department of the Syrian regime’s military police. The individual, who decided to defect, risked his life to smuggle 53,275 photographs of the bodies of 6,786 detainees out of the country.