U.S. Sanctions Suspended: Can Bashar be Prevented from Exploiting Them?

An expert told Orient Net that U.S. sanctions continue to dissuade governments and international financial institutions from collaborating with the Assad regime.

The U.S. Treasury Department announced a decision allowing the suspension of sanctions imposed on the Assad regime to allow the provision of aid to those affected by the devastating earthquake that affected Syria and Turkey. The new U.S. decision stipulated an exemption period of 180 days (6 months), allowing countries and relief organizations to provide assistance to those affected in Syria. 

“The U.S. Treasury Department has issued a comprehensive general license to boost earthquake relief efforts so that humanitarian and relief agencies can focus on what matters most: rescuing those affected and rebuilding their homes,” said First Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. 

Syria Today – UN Aid Reaches Northern Syria

Economist Moaz Maarawi stated that despite the Treasury’s decision, U.S. sanctions continue to dissuade governments and international financial institutions, such as the IMF and World Bank, from collaborating with the Assad regime. The sanctions also restrict lending and the provision of economic advice, impose arms embargoes, limit international shipping services, and restrict access to information technology related to banking and banking services.  

Maarawi emphasized the significance of the sanction that prohibits Assad from accessing the SWIFT global banking system, and called on Syrian organizations and pressure lobbies to monitor and prevent his access to it. This restriction prevents Assad from sending or receiving bank remittances. He also suggested monitoring regional and international banks, as they have prevented Assad’s financial interfaces from opening accounts and have forced many of them to close their existing accounts.

Oil import not included

Maarawi emphasized that the implementation of the U.S. Treasury’s decision would not benefit the Assad regime as it does not include importing oil from the regime’s areas nor dealing with the individuals who have been sanctioned, as they are financial supporters of Assad who plan to steal aid and sell it to the affected population. Among these individuals is Fares al-Shihabi, the head of the Aleppo Chamber of Industry and the Federation of Chambers of Industry of the regime, who was seen with Assad laughing over the ruins of the destroyed areas in Aleppo. Shihabi also referred to those released from Sednaya prison as “evil people.”

Maarawi noted that the US sanctions programs do not aim to hinder legitimate humanitarian assistance, such as disaster relief efforts. He suggested that the new authorization may encompass the broad humanitarian licenses already in place under the Unified Scientific Research System (SySR). These licenses apply to non-governmental organizations, international organizations, and the U.S. government.

Maarawi cautioned against the propaganda campaign launched by the Assad regime, claiming that sanctions prevent them from providing aid to the affected population. He cited the example of the regime dropping over 40,000 barrels on a small city like Daraya, causing damage surpassing any natural disaster. He warned that the regime’s campaign would deceive sympathetic neighbouring countries. He stressed that while the tragedy is natural, supporting the regime responsible for causing the displacement of the victims to Turkey and earthquake-stricken areas is not the solution.  

Maarawi stated that the Assad regime has been receiving global funds through United Nations institutions, programs, and organizations that some countries deal with on the ground. These entities operate under the pretext that the regime is the approved reference. He emphasized the importance of financial experts in monitoring institutions that reveal their financial activities through open sources. They can expose anyone who violates international sanctions against Assad.


This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.


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