Britain says it is imposing new sanctions on Bashar Assad’s regime, including asset freezes and travel bans on the Syrian dictator’s close allies.
The announcement comes on the 10th anniversary of the start of the Syrian uprising. The six sanctioned individuals include Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, presidential adviser Luna al-Shibl, and two military generals whom Britain says were responsible for the violent repression of civilians by troops under their command.
The Foreign Office says they also include two prominent businessmen, one of whom, Yassar Ibrahim, allegedly “acts as a front” for the “personal hold on the Syrian economy” wielded by Assad and his wife, Asma, while millions of Syrians go without food.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab condemns the Assad regime for subjecting the Syrian people “to a decade of brutality for the temerity of demanding peaceful reform.”
“Today we are holding six more individuals from the regime to account for their wholesale assault on the very citizens they should be protecting,” Raab says in a statement.
The sanctions are the first against the Syrian leadership under Britain’s new autonomous sanctions regime after Brexit.