The UK has announced a fresh round of targeted sanctions on the Assad regime, including close allies of the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
15 March 2021
- Senior regime figures including Syrian Foreign Minister, adviser to Assad and Republican Guard commander handed asset freezes and travel bans
- First use of UK’s autonomous sanctions regime against Syrian figures, who have contributed to a decade of war and suffering
- UK pushing for regime to engage in UN-led talks and allow humanitarian access after decade of violence
The UK has announced a fresh round of targeted sanctions on the Assad regime, including close allies of the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, to send a clear message that they must be held to account for their crimes.
The Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has outlined that the UK will impose travel bans and asset freezes on six members of the regime, including the Foreign Minister, to ensure they do not benefit from the UK in any way.
The new sanctions are the first against the Syrian leadership under the UK’s autonomous sanctions regime, which came into existence following the end of the EU Transition Period, and follow 353 targeted sanctions listings on Syria that are already being implemented.
The individuals are all part of or support the regime, and are responsible for repressing the Syrian people or benefitting from their misery.
After 10 years of violence, more than half a million people have died and 11 million people have been displaced from their homes. Vital infrastructure, hospitals and schools are routinely attacked.
The UK is working through the United Nations Security Council to push the regime to engage meaningfully in the UN-led peace process and Constitutional Committee talks in Geneva, release those held in arbitrary detention, and allow unhindered aid access throughout Syria.
At the same time, the UK has been delivering life-saving aid since the beginning of the conflict. Since 2012, across Syria and the region, we have provided over 28 million food rations, over 20 million medical consultations, and over 14 million vaccines.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:
The Assad regime has subjected 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.
The announcement comes on the 10th anniversary of the Syrian uprising. The Assad regime continues to treat Syrians with brutality and violence, including the horrific use of chemical weapons.
Progress on the political process has been blocked by the regime and its backers. The human rights abuses, repression and corruption that sparked protests in 2011 have worsened, and the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate.
The following members of the Syrian regime have been sanctioned today:
Faisal MIQDAD. Minister of Foreign Affairs. Appointed in November 2020. As a Government Minister shares responsibility for the Syrian regime’s violent repression against the civilian population.
Luna AL-SHIBL. Adviser to President Assad and a prominent member of his inner circle. As Media Adviser to the President, she supports the Syrian regime, which relies on disinformation and a lack of media freedom to repress the civilian population. She is also associated with the Syrian regime through her role as an adviser.
Yassar IBRAHIM. Prominent and influential businessperson and financier to President Assad, operating across multiple sectors of the Syrian economy. The Ibrahim family, led by Yasser Ibrahim, is associated with the Assad regime, and acts as a front for Bashar and Asma Assad’s personal hold on the Syrian economy, whilst millions of Syrians are food insecure.
Muhammad Bara’ AL-QATIRJI. Prominent and influential businessperson operating across multiple sectors of the Syrian economy. Qatirji supports and benefits from the regime including through enabling, and profiting from, trade deals with the regime in relation to oil and wheat.
Major General Malik ALIAA. Major General and Commander of the Republican Guard as of January 2021, and former Commander of the Republican Guard’s 30th Division. Responsible for the violent repression of the civilian population by troops under his command, particularly during the increased violence of the offensives on north-west Syria of 2019-2020.
Major General Zaid SALAH. Major General and since January 2018 Commander of the Syrian Army’s 5th Corps, and previously commanded the Republican Guard’s 30th Division. Responsible for the violent repression of the civilian population by troops under his command, particularly during the increased violence of the Idlib/Hama offensive which began in April 2019.
Further detail on the UK’s autonomous sanctions regime:
Syria is subject to UK sanctions under both the Syria and Chemical weapons sanctions regimes:
- Financial sanctions: Syria
- Financial sanctions: Chemical weapons
- full list of UK autonomous sanctions
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