The United States on Monday blacklisted 271 employees of an Assad regime agency it said was responsible for developing chemical weapons, weeks after a poison gas attack killed scores of people in the town of Khan Sheikhoun in rural Idlib.
The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned 271 employees of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), an agency that Washington says develops chemical weapons for the Assad regime, the Treasury said in a statement.
The sanction orders U.S. banks to freeze the assets of the employees named, and bans American companies from conducting business with them.
Those designated were “highly educated” individuals likely to be able to travel outside of Syria and use the international financial system even if they may not have assets abroad, administration officials said during a conference call with reporters.
“These sweeping sanctions target the scientific support center for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s horrific chemical weapons attack on innocent civilian men, women, and children,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
US President Donald Trump on Monday expressed “great disappointment” at the failure of the UN Security Council to respond to Assad’s use of chemical weapons.(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)