US sanctions hit Syria prisons, abusers including opposition

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BEIRUT – The Biden medication announced Wednesday its archetypal sanctions connected Syria, targeting situation facilities and officials who tally them, arsenic good arsenic equipped groups, focusing connected quality rights abuses.

The sanctions announced by the U.S. Treasury are portion of Washington’s argumentation to support up unit connected the Syrian authorities led by longtime President Bashar Assad. But signaling a caller approach, the medication besides targeted 2 equipped groups, widening the nett of those impacted by the sanctions. One of the groups was implicated successful violating a cease-fire successful spot since 2020.

“The United States is taking enactment to beforehand accountability for entities and individuals that person perpetuated the suffering of the Syrian people,” said U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. “Today’s enactment makes wide that the United States volition not hide the victims of quality rights abuses successful Syria and volition usage due tools to people and azygous retired those responsible, careless of the perpetrator.”


The sanctions people 8 Syrian prisons, astir of them linked to the almighty wide and subject quality agencies, and the generals who administer them. They see 1 of Syria’s astir notorious, the Saydnaya subject prison, located successful the municipality of the aforesaid sanction northbound of the capital, Damascus.

The sanctions travel U.S. enactment past summertime of authorities called the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act. The enactment is named aft a Syrian subject lensman who leaked thousands of photographs of thousands of victims of torture successful prisons tally by the Assad government.

The U.S. Treasury said galore of the prisons designated Wednesday were specifically highlighted successful images provided by Caesar. It is not wide however a Syrian situation whitethorn beryllium impacted by U.S. sanctions.

In a groundbreaking study successful 2017, Amnesty International said Syrian authorities killed astatine slightest 13,000 radical successful the archetypal 5 years of the country’s civilian warfare successful wide hangings astatine Saydnaya. The rights radical referred to the killings arsenic a “calculated run of extrajudicial execution.”


Rights groups estimation that 130,000 Syrians are inactive missing oregon detained. The U.S. and galore European governments impeach Assad’s authorities of astir of the war’s atrocities.

The erstwhile medication had focused astir of its sanctions successful Syria connected businesses, fiscal institutions and associates of Assad and his family.

Among those sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury is an absorption equipped group, Ahrar al-Sharqiya, whose fighters are mostly from eastbound Syria. Two of the group's leaders were besides sanctioned.

The radical has been incriminated successful the sidesplitting of a Syrian Kurdish politician, Hevrin Khalaf, successful 2019. It is believed to person incorporated galore Islamic State radical militants into its ranks. It has besides participated successful Turkey-backed operations against Syrian Kurdish groups successful northwestern Syria.

The U.S. Treasury said Ahrar al-Sharqiya has committed galore crimes against civilians, peculiarly Syrian Kurds. They see unlawful killings, abductions, torture and seizures of backstage property, compounding the suffering of a colonisation that has repeatedly endured wide displacement.


The different equipped radical is affiliated with the Syrian military, Saraya al-Areen. The radical has been warring alongside authorities troops successful northwestern Idlib province, wherever the past absorption enclave is located. The U.S. Treasury said the radical was targeted for violating and obstructing a cease-fire successful spot since 2020.

“Today’s designations beforehand accountability for abuses committed against the Syrian radical and contradict rogue actors entree to the planetary fiscal system,” said Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea M. Gacki.

Syria’s authorities has criticized the U.S. sanctions, blaming them for a worsening economical situation and calling them “crimes against humanity.”

In powerfulness since 2000, Assad began a 4th word successful bureau earlier this period with the state inactive devastated by the 10-year warfare and sliding deeper into a worsening economical crisis.


Lee contributed from Washington.

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