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US, France introduce new Syria chemical weapons sanctions

The United States and France have taken joint action to sanction individuals and entities connected with Syria's chem...

Posted: Jul. 25, 2018 2:34 PM
Updated: Jul. 25, 2018 2:34 PM

The United States and France have taken joint action to sanction individuals and entities connected with Syria's chemical weapons program, the Treasury Department announced in a statement Wednesday.

"Syria's horrific use of chemical weapons, including attacks against innocent women and children, remains deeply embedded in our minds," Sigal Mandelker, the Undersecretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in the statement. "Today, we are continuing our campaign to stop the Assad regime's ruthless attacks by targeting the procurement networks that have supported its chemical weapons program."

The US action will affect five entities and eight individuals the government says represent "key components of a vast network procuring electronics on behalf of Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), the agency responsible for the development of Syria's chemical weapons."

Those affected will no longer have access to property and interests subject to US jurisdiction, including US financial institutions.

On Sunday, France's government extended a similar freeze on 24 entities and individuals from the same network, the Treasury Department said.

The United States, France and other members of the international community have long expressed outrage over the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons in its ongoing civil war.

In April, the two governments, along with the United Kingdom, launched strikes against alleged chemical weapons sites in Syria in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in the Damascus enclave of Douma.

"Along with Sunday's actions by the French, and together with our law enforcement partners, today's actions reinforce our ongoing international efforts with our allies to halt these atrocities," Mandelker said. "We remain firm in our resolve to counter Syria's horrific use of chemical weapons, and will continue to take aggressive action against those who supply the SSRC and enhance Syria's capacity to produce and use chemical weapons."

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