Syria Sanctions Designations on the Anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 2254

Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State

Five years ago last Friday, theUnited Nations Security Councilunanimouslyadopted Resolution 2254,firmly laying outthe only path foran enduring resolution tothe Syrian conflict.  The United States andthevast majority oftheinternational community remaincommittedto this dignifiedplan for endingthe suffering of the Syrian people.

The Assad regime,supported byits enablersand allies,however,refuses to end itsneedless, brutal war against the Syrian people,stallingefforts toreach a political resolution.  The Department of StatetodayisimposingsanctionsonAsma al-Assad, the wife of Bashar al-Assad, for impeding efforts to promote a political resolution of the Syrian conflict pursuant to Section 2(a)(i)(D) of Executive Order 13894.  Asma al-Assadhas spearheaded efforts on behalf of the regime to consolidate economic and political power, including by using her so-called charities and civil society organizations.

In addition, we are sanctioningseveral members of Asma al-Assad’s immediate family, including Fawaz Akhras, SaharOtriAkhras,Firas alAkhras, andEyadAkhras as per Section 2(a)(ii) ofEO13894.  The Assad andAkhrasfamilieshaveaccumulated their ill-gottenrichesat the expense of the Syrian people throughtheircontrol over anextensive, illicitnetworkwith linksin Europe, the Gulf, and elsewhere.  Meanwhile, the Syrian peoplecontinue to wait in long lines for bread, fuel, and medicine as the Assad regime chooses to cut subsidies for these basic essentials that Syrians need.

As we mark theone-yearanniversary of the President signing the bipartisan Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 into law, the United States willalsocontinue to pressure the Assad regime and its enablers to prevent them from amassing the resources to perpetuate their atrocities.  As part of that effort, the Department of Statetodayistaking action against Syria’s Military Intelligence (SMI) organization by designating the SMI commander, General Kifah Moulhem, for his role as one of the architects of the Syrian people’s suffering.  Moulhemis now sanctioned pursuant to Executive Order 13894Section 2(a)(i)(A)for his actionsinpreventing a ceasefire in Syria.

TheDepartment of the Treasuryisadditionallyimposingsanctionsonthe Central Bank of Syria,as well as onLina al-Kinayeh,oneof Assad’s key advisers,her husband, Syrian parliamentarian MohammedMasouti, andseveralregimeaffiliatedbusinesses.  TheUnited States willcontinue to seek accountability for those prolonging this conflict.

The Syrian people will decide the future of Syria.  To support them, the United States has provided over $12.2 billion in humanitarian assistance since the start of the conflict and will continue applying pressure on the Assad regime until there is irreversible progress toward a political transition as called for in UNSCR 2254.  Also as called for in UNSCR 2254 and the Geneva Communiqué, there must be a nationwide ceasefire, accountability for acts committed during the conflict, free and fair elections pursuant to a new constitution, as well as the release of all arbitrarily detained persons.  This is the only path toward a peaceful future for the Syrian people.

* This article was originally published here

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