June 19, 2019

US imposes sanctions on Syria’s President Assad

President Assad can't do business in the USA anymore. Not even to buy a hot dog in Time Square.

The United States has imposed sanctions on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for human rights abuses and lack of political reform.

To date the US and the European Union have imposes sanctions on other individuals in the Assad regime, but not on President Assad himself.

President Barack Obama last month imposed sanctions on Assad’s brother Maher, his cousin and an intelligence chief.

A US state department spokesman said it was time for Mr Assad “to lead a political transition or to leave”.

The executive order signed by Mr Obama on Wednesday punishes Mr Assad and six senior Syrian officials for human rights abuses.

Any assets they have under US jurisdiction are now frozen. It is also illegal for Americans and US companies to do business with them.

The others named are Vice-President Farouk al-Sharaa; Prime Minister Adel Safar; Interior Minister Mohammed al-Shaar; Defence Minister Ali Habib; Abdul Fatah Qudsiya, the head of Military intelligence; and Mohammed Dib Zaitoun, the head of the Political Security Directorate.

These are unusual steps to take against individuals on the world political stage. Usually leaders tend to look after each other despite their differences.

It clearly signals that the Obama administration has had enough of waiting for President Assad to offer reforms to satisfy the protesters. Instead he has done a text book totalitarian crackdown.