Sanctions targeting Samer Foz and entities benefitting in supporting Assad regime; Sanctions also placed on two Lebanese oil companies bypassing US Iran sanctions; US Treasury: This action reinforces the United States’ commitment to imposing a financial toll on those supporting Assad’s authoritarian rule…
The United States Department of the Treasury on Tuesday imposed sanctions on 16 individuals and entities benefitting from its support of the Assad regime. The sanctions are specifically targeting Syrian oligarch Samer Foz who has was issued sanctions by the European Union in January of this year.
According to the Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, “Samer Foz, his relatives, and his business empire have leveraged the atrocities of the Syrian conflict into a profit-generating enterprise. This Syrian oligarch is directly supporting the murderous Assad regime and building luxury developments on land stolen from those fleeing his brutality.” The sanctions will “serve to cut off critical supplies and financiers for the regime’s luxury reconstruction and investment efforts. This action reinforces the United States’ commitment to imposing a financial toll on those supporting Assad’s authoritarian rule, including Syrian oligarch Samer Foz.”
The sanctions include blacklists on several of Foz’s properties and his Aman Holding Company. Under the sanctions, all of his US assets are frozen and any transactions by Foz or his companies with the United States are forbidden. Sanctions were also placed on two Lebanese-based oil companies, Synergy SAL and BS Company, who have been supplying Iranian oil to Assad’s regime.
Foz has made a large part of his fortune from sales of land seized from Syrians who fled the country’s civil war. On this, the Department of Treasury stated on Tuesday, “This tactic [of] taking over property owned by Syrian citizens and handing the land to wealthy regime insiders to develop in exchange for revenue sharing, has emerged as Assad’s go-to strategy for high-end reconstruction in war-torn Syria.” The Syrian businessman has also bypassed President Trump’s sanctions in providing Iranian oil to Syria.
A reported 5.6 million Syrian citizens fled from 2011-2019 and another 6 million were displaced within Syria. The number of deaths is believed to be close to 400,000, the vast majority of the perpetrators Syrian army forces. Bashar al-Assad has been in power since 2000 and has carried out human rights abuses on his people for nearly two decades, including chemical weapons attacks on civilians.
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