On Wednesday, the US slapped new sanctions on Syria that target prisons in the country and officials who run them. The US also sanctioned Ahrar al-Sharqiya, a Turkish-backed group that operates in North Syria, and targeted al-Qaeda financiers.
The US sanctioned eight prisons and five Syrian officials over alleged human rights abuses. It’s unlikely that the measures will have any effect since the prisons probably don’t make financial transactions that could be subject to US sanctions.
The US already has Syria under crushing economic sanctions that specifically target its energy and construction sectors to prevent the country from rebuilding after 11 years of war. On top of the sanctions, the US also maintains an occupation force of about 900 troops in northeast Syria, where the bulk of the country’s oil fields are to keep the resource out of Damascus’ hands.
The northeast also has significant agricultural resources, and by keeping them from the Syrian government, the US occupation hurts the people and exacerbates food shortages. According to the UN, the number of Syrians that are close to starvation is at 12.4 million, or 60 percent of the population.
The US sanctioned Ahrar al-Sharqiya over accusations of crimes against civilians, primarily Syrian Kurds. The sanctions appear to be a shift in policy, as the US has generally avoided going after Turkish-backed groups.
The Treasury Department said it sanctioned a Turkish-based al-Qaeda financier and a Syrian-based individual the US accuses of holding fundraisers for Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). HTS is the al-Qaeda-linked group that controls most of the Idlib Province. Turkey does not outright support HTS, but Turkish-backed militants have fought alongside the al-Qaeda affiliate, and Ankara is suspected of coordinating with the group.
3 thoughts on “US Imposes Sanctions on Syrian Prisons and Officials”
“The US maintains crippling economic sanctions on Syria and occupies its oil fields to prevent reconstruction”
Sound familiar? A hint: Israel………….Palestine………………
Exactly. Just make it so miserable to make people leave or to be forced to live permanently under US-imposed hardships and attendant violence and crime. US is favoring minority Kurds, just as it is creating an ever expanding Israeli state. All empires in history used same device to create chaos, find its pets, while others were doomed.
Afghanistan is meant to remain in this category — forever imperial missile strikes on those clans that show disobedience, and support for utterly weak Kabul government.
The question is — can the neighborhood pull a “Libya” on them? Get support for each entity, and coordinate among them until the dependence on US money is no longer essential. In Libya, Egypt worked with Tobruk government, Russia managed to get General Hefter armed in order to conquer or tame Benghazi militants, and knocked on Tripoli door. Trump took the bait, courted Hefter, leaving Tripoli UN recognized government for dead. Turkey steps in, and Russia, Egypt and Turkey broker permanent cease fire, transitional government, and preparation for elections. The most US and France can do is to find few mouthpieces in transitional government (who cannot run for office), to spout “foreign troops must go” — since none of them are US.
Sure, there are always methods for undermining process — but that is that.
In Afghanistan, we have similar potential. Russia was close to Kabul government but has contacts with Taliban. Pakistan is well connected with tribes, Iran with northern tribes and China with all. Amusing is debate on Turkey insertion at airport, of course Afghans, Russia, Iran, Pakistan and China want them — but the debate is on the quantity and quality of US control over them. Libya is no longer bombed, see if this can be pulled in Afghanistan, Given neighborhood, it may be easier.
The USA can never mind its own business, whatever that is!
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