House Passes Bill To Work Against Countries Normalizing With Syria

The bill is designed to expand already crippling economic sanctions on Syria

On Wednesday, the House passed a bill that prohibits the US from opening diplomatic relations with the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad and expands harsh sanctions on Syria to prevent other countries from normalizing with Syria.

The Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act passed in a vote of 389-32, demonstrating broad bipartisan support for the economic war against Syria. Only 28 Democrats and four Republicans voted against the bill. The legislation now heads to the Senate.

The bill was introduced as a reaction to Arab countries repairing relations with the Assad government and Syria being brought back into the Arab league. Hawks in the US are opposed to Syria’s regional integration and are hoping they can prevent it using sanctions under the Caesar Act.

The Caesar Act was implemented in 2020 and allows the US to sanction any individual or entity that does business with the Syrian government. The sanctions are specifically designed to prevent Syria from rebuilding, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken has previously said it’s US policy to “oppose the reconstruction of Syria” as long as Assad remains in power.

The text of the bill declares that it’s US policy “to actively oppose recognition or normalization of relations by other governments with any Government of Syria that is led by Bashar Al-Assad, including by fully implementing the mandatory primary and secondary sanctions in the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act.”

On top of the economic sanctions on Syria, the US has about 900 troops occupying the eastern portion of the country, where it backs the Kurdish-led SDF and controls oil fields. Recent reports have suggested the US was considering a withdrawal from Syria as its forces have been under attack since October due to US support for the Israeli slaughter in Gaza. But an SDF commander said last week that he received assurances from the US that a withdrawal was not on the table.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.