Canada has announced sanctions against 27 high-ranking officials in the Assad regime. The officials are now subject to a freeze on their assets and a prohibition on any financial dealings with Canada.
The move is part of the international push to put pressure on the Assad regime to end indiscriminate violence against its own people, following this month’s chemical weapons attack, and engage in meaningful negotiations, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement released on Friday.
Earlier this week, Freeland urged Russia to break with Assad and help broker his departure in order to establish a lasting peace in the troubled region.
Freeland pointed out that the new sanctions against key Assad regime officials are part of Canada’s continued efforts to pressure the Assad regime to stop the violence against innocent men, women and children.
Canada is contributing to investigations on the use of chemical weapons and the collection of evidence to support the prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria, the statement added.
“Last week’s chemical weapons attack in southern Idlib is a war crime and is unacceptable,” Freeland said. “Canada is working with its allies to end the war in Syria and hold those responsible to account.”
Canada has committed $1.6 billion to efforts in the region to provide humanitarian, security, stabilization and development assistance, in addition to having welcomed more than 40,000 Syrian refugees to Canada. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)