US slaps sanctions on Syrian officials, supporters

US slaps sanctions on Syrian officials, supporters

10Washington, May 9 (IANS) The US Thursday imposed sanctions on six Syrian officials, two refineries, and a Russian bank, in a move to raise pressure on Damascus and its supporters.

The officials on the blacklist included Brigadier General Bassam Al-Hassan, an advisor to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, Xinhua quoted the Treasury Department as saying in a statement.

The sanctions targetted Moscow-based Tempbank and Mikhail Gagloev, a senior executive of the bank, for supporting the Syrian government. Two state-owned Syrian refineries, Banias and Homs, were also sanctioned.

As a result of the move, the US has banned its citizens from transactions with the blacklisted individuals and entities, and freezes any assets they may have in a US jurisdiction.

“Today’s designation builds on Treasury’s ongoing efforts to apply economic pressure on the Syrian government by choking off access to the international financial system,” said David Cohen, Under Secretary of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

“We are committed to deterring those who contribute to violence and instability in Syria, and will continue to aggressively target individuals and entities supporting the Assad regime,” he said.

The US has imposed sanctions on nearly 200 individuals and entities since unrest in Syria began over three years ago.

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