The United States plans to impose sanctions aimed at preventing Syrian President Bashar Al Assad “from achieving a military victory” and returning him to the talks led by the United Nations, the United States’ representative to the United Nations, Kelly Kraft, said on Tuesday.
Kelly Kraft told the UN Security Council that President Donald Trump’s administration will implement measures tomorrow, Wednesday, to “deprive the Assad regime of the revenues and support it used to commit widespread atrocities and human rights violations that prevent a political solution and seriously reduce the prospects for peace”.
Kraft said that the sanctions that will be imposed under the Caesar Act to Protect Civilians in Syria, which was approved by the US Congress last December, “aim to deter malicious actors who continue to assist and finance (the Syrian government)”.
The law also penalizes individuals and companies that support Russian and Iranian military activities in Syria.
Kraft added that the sanctions aim to push the Syrian government to return to the UN-led talks and aim to build momentum towards a political solution to the nearly decade-long civil war.
Russia, China and Syria have strongly criticized the US plan to impose more sanctions unilaterally, especially at a time when the Arab country is going through a severe economic crisis.
Russia’s representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzia, said that the United States reaffirmed that the purpose of these measures is to overthrow the legitimate authorities in Syria, stressing that the new sanctions “will strike ordinary civilians”.
In turn, China’s delegate to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, stated: “While weak countries like the pandemic Syria (Coronavirus) are fighting, imposing more sanctions is simply inhumane and may cause additional disasters”.
In a speech before a separate meeting of the Geneva-based International Human Rights Council, the Syrian delegate, Bashar Jaafari, accused the United States of trying to impose US law on the world and belittling calls to end unilateral sanctions.
For his part, the UN Special Envoy to Syria, Geir Pedersen, told the Security Council that he hoped to bring together the parties to the Syrian crisis in Geneva to conduct negotiations on the constitution in late August.
The new sanctions imposed by the United States target the most important sectors of the Syrian economy, the central bank and the authorities, including Assad personally, as well as any internal or external party that cooperates with the government of Syria and “supports its military operations”.