On Wednesday, the State Department and Treasury Department continued the United States’ sanctions campaign against the Assad regime by releasing 14 new designations under the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act and other authorities.

US State Department Special Envoy for Syria Joel D. Rayburn during a press briefing asserted that the act, which came into force aims to economically isolate President Bashar Assad's regime through sanctions.

The US named today’s (Wednesday) tranche of designations the Hama and Maarat Al-Numan sanctions. Nine years ago, Bashar al-Assad’s troops carried out a brutal siege of the city of Hama, killing scores of peaceful protesters in a shocking sign of what was to come. One year ago, the Assad regime and its allies bombed a busy marketplace in Maarat Al-Numan, killing 42 innocent Syrians.

These names are meant to memorialize the victims of two of the Assad regime's most notorious atrocities, both of which occurred in this week in 2011 and 2019 revealed the US Envoy.

Sustained Sanctions

Under the Caesar Act, the US announced "sustained sanctions" against the Syrian regime and its allies.

“These sanctions will be a sustained campaign of economic and political pressure to deny the Assad regime the resources it uses for alleged involvement in war crimes. This act is meant to send a clear signal that no external institutions or individuals should do business with or otherwise enrich such a regime” said the US envoy.

Rayburn reiterated that the Caesar Act and other U.S. Syria sanctions were not intended to harm the Syrian people and ’do not target humanitarian assistance’ or hinder the stabilization activities in northeast Syria. The United States has contributed more than $11.3 billion in humanitarian assistance since the start of the conflict.

He brushed aside concerns stating that the campaign would not harm Lebanon’s economy.

In a press statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the US government “will not stop until Assad and his regime stop their needless, brutal war against the Syrian people and the Syrian governments agrees to a political solution to the conflict as called for” in UN Security Council Resolution 2254.

“We will continue to hold Bashar al-Assad and his regime accountable for their atrocities while keeping the memory of their victims alive,” stated Mike Pompeo.

He called on for accountability and justice for the victims of Hama, Maarat al-Numan, and of the Assad regime’s other war crimes and crimes against humanity. US officials asserted that a political solution under UNSCR 2254 was the only credible path to the peace the Syrian people deserve.