In a press release, the EU Council announced new EU sanctions against eight Syrians and two entities whose support for the Assad regime violated humanitarian laws and played a role in Assad terrorizing his own people.
The EU press release citing new EU sanctions against eight Syrians and two entities read:
The Council has today added eight prominent businessmen and two entities linked to those businessmen to the list of persons and entities subject to the sanctions against the Syrian regime and its supporters. Their activities directly benefited the Assad regime, including through projects located on lands expropriated from persons displaced by the conflict.
The sanctions list now includes 277 persons and 71 entities targeted by a travel ban and an asset freeze. EU sanctions currently in place against Syria also include an oil embargo, restrictions on certain investments, a freeze of the assets of the Syrian central bank held in the EU, and export restrictions on equipment and technology that might be used for internal repression, as well as on equipment and technology for the monitoring or interception of internet or telephone communications.
The sanctions on Syria were originally imposed in 2011. They are reviewed on an annual basis, with the next review due by 1st June.
The EU remains committed to finding a lasting and credible political solution to the conflict in Syria as defined in the UN Security Council resolution 2254 and in the 2012 Geneva Communiqué.
WHO ARE THE SYRIANS SANCTIONED?
- Yasser Aziz ABBAS: Businessman supporting and/or benefiting from the regime through business dealings, including fuel smuggling and weapons transfers.
- Maher BurhanEddine AL-IMAM: Businessman operating in Syria with business interests in regime-backed Telsa Communication Group as well as of Castro LLC. He benefits from the regime and supports its financing.
- Waseem AL-KATTAN: Businessman who imposed taxes on smuggled goods into the besieged Eastern Ghouta. He recruits other people to benefit the regime.
- Amer FOZ: Businessman with interests in Aman Holding and the development of the regime-backed Marota City. He is also the General Manager of ASM International Trading LLC. Brother to Samer FOZ already sanctioned.
- Saqr RUSTUM: A Shabbiha thug in Homs. Responsible for the brutal repression of the civilian population in Syria. Associated with Bassam Hassan, his uncle, with whom he established the Damas Real Estate Development and Investment LLC.
- Abdelkader SABRA: Businessman and close associate of Rami Makhlouf. Shipping magnate. Provides financial and economic support for the Syrian regime, including through offshore companies. He is also a money launderer.
- Khodr Ali TAHER: A smuggler and war profiteer. Involved in private security, mobile phone retail, hotel management, advertising services and domestic money transfer. Operates a JV with with the Syrian Transport and Tourism Company, of which the Ministry of Tourism owns a two-thirds stake.
- Adel Anwar AL-OLABI: Vice Chairman of Damascus Cham Holding Company (DCHC), the investment arm of the Governorate of Damascus managing the properties of the Governorate of Damascus and implementing the Marota City project expropriated land. He is also the Governor of Damascus that Assad appointed in November 2018.
THE TWO ENTITIES SANCTIONED
The two entities the EU sanctioned are:
- Al Qattargi Company: Prominent company operating across multiple sectors of the Syrian economy. It facilitates fuel, arms and ammunition trade between the regime and various actors including ISIS (Daesh). All under the pretext of importing and exporting food items. It supports militias fighting alongside the regime. Hossam Qatarji heads its board who also is Parliamentarian in the Assad regime. Qatarji fully supports and benefits from the Syrian regime.
- Damascus Cham Holding Company: The Assad regime estavblished the Damascus Cham Holding Company as the investment arm of the Governorate of Damascus in order to manage the properties of the Governorate of Damascus and implement the Marota City project, a luxurious real estate project based on expropriated land under Decree No. 66 and Law No. 10 in particular. By managing the implementation of Marota City, Damascus Cham Holding (whose Vice-Chair is the Governor of Damascus) supports and benefits from the Syrian regime and provides benefits to business people with close ties to the regime who have struck lucrative deals with this entity through public-private partnerships.