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US slaps sanctions on Syrian ministers and Russian bank

Washington has opposed the Russian and Syrian regime approach to the civil war [Getty]

Date of publication: 24 December, 2016

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Six Syrian ministers and the leadership of a Russian bank have been placed on the US sanctions blacklist, Washington said on Saturday.

Several senior Syrian officials, including the ministers of oil and finance, as well as the leadership of a Russian bank were added to the US sanctions blacklist.

Six Syrian ministers were embargoed by US authorities and companies including finance minister Mamun Hamdan and Oil Minister Ali Ghanem, and the Governor of the Syrian Central Bank Dureid Durgham.

Nine board members of the already blacklisted Moscow-based Tempbank were also added to the sanctions list, accused of providing financial services to the Assad regime.

US officials also targeted two companies allegedly owned or operated by a Syrian regime insider, Rami Makhlouf, which they said had handled oil drilled in areas controlled by the Islamic State group.

"The daily attacks on civilian centres 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.

Syrian airline Cham Wings, accused of transporting foreign militiamen to fight in the country's brutal civil war, was also slapped with sanctions by the US Treasury Department. 

Syria has been locked in civil war for more than five years, leaving hundreds of thousands dead and millions more struggling to survive.


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