US slaps fresh sanctions on Syrian regime

The Trump administration announces more sanctions on Syria, intensifying pressure on President Bashar Assad to end the country’s vicious, nearly decade-long conflict. The sanctions target Syria’s central bank, an aide to Assad and others.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the United States is intent on “holding accountable the Assad regime for the atrocities it has committed against its own people.”

Tuesday’s announcement deepens sanctions on the central bank. Syria’s economy already has seen prices soar and the value of the Syrian currency plunge amid earlier US financial sanctions and the fear of more.

Syrian President Bashar Assad listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting in Damascus, Syria, January 7, 2020. (Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

The Treasury Department says the aim “was to discourage future investment in government-controlled areas of Syria” as part of the broader effort to compel Assad’s government to end human rights violations.

The new sanctions also target Lina Mohammed Nazir al-Kinayeh, whom the Treasury identified as an official in Assad’s presidential office, her husband and their businesses, and others.

— AP