Accessibility links

Breaking News

U.S. Sanctions 271 Syrians Over Suspected Chemical Weapons Attack

Syrians dig a grave to bury the bodies of victims of a suspected toxic gas attack that killed scores of people in opposition-held territory in Idlib Province earlier this month.

The U.S. government on April 24 announced the imposition of "sweeping sanctions" against Syrian government officials in response to what Washington says was a sarin gas attack against Syrian civilians by President Bashar al-Assad's forces in early April.

The U.S. Treasury Department said it ordered a freeze on all assets in the United States belonging to 271 employees of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC).

The sanctions also make it illegal for any American person or business to deal with those 271 individuals.

A Treasury Department statement said the SSRC was responsible for producing the chemical weapons that Washington thinks were used in the April 4 attack.

The suspected chemical attack killed 87 people, including many children, in opposition-held territory in Idlib Province.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said: "These sweeping sanctions target the scientific support center for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s horrific chemical weapons attack on innocent civilian men, women, and children."

He said the sanctions are a "strong message" that Washington will "hold the entire Assad regime accountable."

The United States fired 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield on April 7 in response to the suspected chemical weapons attack.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP