The United States on Friday added several senior Syrian officials including the ministers of oil and of finance and the leadership of a Russian bank to its sanctions blacklist.
US officials also targeted two companies allegedly owned or operated by a Syrian regime insider, Rami Makhluf, which they said had handled oil drilled in areas controlled by the Islamic State group.
“The daily attacks on civilian centers by the government of Syria led by Bashar al-Assad are reprehensible, and both the Government and its enablers must be isolated and held accountable for their barbarism,” said Adam Szubin, acting under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.
In all, six Syrian ministers were added to the sanctions list, including finance minister Mamun Hamdan and oil minister Ali Ghanem, along with the governor of the Syrian central bank, Dureid Durgham.
In addition to the Syrians, the Treasury also added the names of nine board members of the already blacklisted Moscow-based Tempbank to the sanctions list, accusing them of providing financial services to Assad’s regime.
Syria las been locked in civil war for more than five years and Assad’s forces and his Russian and Iranian backers have slaughtered thousands of civilians while bombarding besieged cities.
The east of the country has fallen to the Islamic State extremist group and, while the regime is supposedly opposed to the movement, officials have been accused of trading oil from jihadist-held territory.