This month marks the seventh anniversary of the deadly chemical weapons attack on Ghouta, Syria. On August 21, 2013, in the Damascus suburbs, the regime of Bashar al-Assad gassed more than 1,400 Syrians, many of them children, with the chemical agent known as sarin.
In memory of the victims of that brutality, the United States announced six sanctions against the Assad regime’s military, government, and financial supporters.
The U.S. has imposed sanctions on Assad’s henchman, Yasser Ibrahim, under Executive Order 13894 for his efforts to obstruct a political solution to the Syrian conflict. Using his networks across the Middle East and beyond, Ibrahim has cut corrupt deals that enrich Assad, while Syrians are dying from a lack of food and medicine.
The U.S. has also designated, pursuant to Executive Order 13894, leadership of several Syrian military units for their efforts to prevent a ceasefire in Syria. In the National Defense Forces the U.S. has designated commander Fadi Saqr. In the 4th Division, 42nd Brigade commander, Brigadier General Ghaith Dalah was also designated. Finally, in the Tiger Forces the U.S. has designated the Haider Regiment commander, Samer Ismail.
“These senior officials lead the same Syrian military that has killed children with barrel bombs and used chemicals weapons against communities like Ghouta,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. “They have shattered the social contract between citizens and the military sworn to protect them.” Since June 2020, the United States has designated over 55 individuals who have perpetuated Assad’s brutal policies.
“These new sanctions memorialize the victims of Assad’s chemical weapons attack on Ghouta seven years ago,” said Secretary Pompeo on Twitter. “We will not stop pressing for accountability and a peaceful solution to the Syrian conflict.”