This week the US imposed a new round of sanctions against the Syrian government, and while this is nothing new, what is gaining attention is the unprecedented step Washington has taken against Bashar al-Assad’s teenage son.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cited that the continued sanctions under the ‘Caesar Act’ were geared toward ending Assad’s “brutal war against the Syrian people.”
U.S. Blacklists Hafez Al-Assad, Bashar’s 18 year old son.
The eldest of the Assads’ 3 children, has made headlines mostly for his interest in mathematics.
Joel Rayburn said it was to preclude him from trying to do business for the government.https://t.co/grEs0Qtquh
— Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis) July 31, 2020
President Assad’s oldest son, 18-year old Hafez Bashar al-Assad (named after his grandfather who previously ruled Syria), is not known to be politically active or connected, and holds no office or decision-making abilities, but now under the new sanctions he won’t be allowed to travel to or have assets in the US, reports The Guardian.
When pressed US officials admitted that the action against Assad’s children are preemptive. US deputy assistant secretary of state, Joel Rayburn, was cited in the following:
Asked why Assad’s teenage son had been added to the list – he was born in 2001 – Rayburn said: “There has been a trend of senior Syrian regime actors and business people who have been active in the regime to do business through their adult family members to evade sanctions.”
“It seems very clear that the immediate family of Bashar al-Assad and their in-laws are attempting to consolidate economic power inside Syria