Last week the Federal government announced sanctions against half a dozen Syrian officials pursuant to allegations that they contribute to the Assad regime’s oppression of the Syrian people.
On Thursday, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) revealed the sanctions, which were against individuals occupying several roles in the administration. One designee is a former television news reader who now holds among the most senior press positions in the regime. OFAC says she has been a key player in determining the narrative that would have Syrians believe that the country and its people are prospering under Assad’s leadership.
Another of the newly-sanctioned sextet is a longtime leader in Syria’s Ba’ath Party. He has been on the party’s Central Committee and its Regional Command, giving him a powerful voice in the Assad regime. He was also lately the head of the National Union of Syrian Students (NUSS), which the Ba’ath Party allegedly uses for recruitment purposes throughout the world.
OFAC indicates that the latter individual conceived of the idea of “Ba’ath Brigades,” which are student-aged fighters that serve to back up Syrian front-line forces. Such groups allegedly fought alongside Syrian soldiers while remaining under the control of the Ba’ath Party. OFAC says the organization processed applications from students seeking to join the fighting group under his watch as president.
As in all such designations, Americans are forbidden from knowingly conducting business with these individuals, and those from both the US and abroad are themselves subject to sanction should they do so.
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