US Threatens UAE With Caesar Act Sanctions Over Syria Normalization

Envoy warns US won't tolerate UAE having embassy open in Damascus

The United States is threatening to impose broad sanctions against a major trading partner, the United Arab Emirate (UAE), under the Caesar Act, accusing the UAE of defying the act by opening an embassy in the Syrian capital of Damascus.

Presented as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign against Syria, the Caesar Act allows the US to sanction anyone who does anything the US believes will support the Syrian government, or otherwise assist in post-war reconstruction of Syria.

US Special Envoy James Jeffrey says it has been made clear to the UAE that the US vehemently opposes anyone having embassies in Damascus. Many embassies are closed because of the war, but there is no sign that any of the other nations with embassies are being threatened by the US.

The Caesar Act is mostly being used to target private companies involved in Syrian reconstruction, and this largely means Lebanese companies. So far, the UAE is the only nation the US is threatening specifically for an embassy.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.