The United States (US) has imposed sanctions on Syria’s President Bashar Al-Assad and his wife as the Donald Trump administration increases pressure on the regime in an effort to end its nine-year civil war.
The U.S. special representative for Syria engagement, James Jeffrey said in a briefing on Wednesday that: “This conflict needs to be brought to an end.
“We will use the tools provided to us in this sanctions legislation and other sanctions authorities to drive home to not only the Assad regime, but to those who support him, be they governments — and you know the two states we’re talking about — or be they individuals, banks, whatever, that we’re coming after you.”
Those two states are Russia and Iran, which have provided military support to Assad as he has regained control of most Syrian territory but are in no shape to help him financially as he looks out on a landscape of economic ruin.
The State Department said in a statement earlier in the day that it was imposing 39 sanction designations “as the beginning of what will be a sustained campaign of economic and political pressure to deny the Assad regime revenue.” Assad and his wife, Asma al-Assad, topped the list.
“Many more sanctions will come until Assad and his regime stop their needless, brutal war,” Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in a tweet.