The US announced new sanctions on Syria, part of Washington’s effort to prevent the reconstruction of the Arab country after nine years of war. The Treasury Department announced the new measures on Wednesday and said they targeted “key enablers” of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
The sanctions targeted 13 individuals and six entities. Among the sanctioned is the head of the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate, the governor of the Central Bank of Syria, and Khodr Taher Bin Ali, a Syrian businessman the Treasury Department said has ties to the Syrian Arab Army and the government.
In June, the US drastically stepped up its sanction campaign against Syria with the Caesar Act, which specifically targets Syria’s construction and energy sectors. The act allows the US to target any individual, regardless of nationality, that is doing business in Syria.
These harsh measures have been detrimental to Syria’s economy and reconstruction effort. The sanctions caused foreign investors to pull their money out of Syria, and discourages their neighbors from helping rebuild the country.
On top of the sanctions, The US also maintains a small occupation force in the northeastern part of Syria, where most of the country’s oil fields are. The US backs the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in the northeast, who recently inked a deal with a US oil company.