The United Kingdom has recently implemented new sanctions aimed at targeting Assad’s defence minister, Ali Mahmoud Abbas, and Chief of General Staff Abdel Karim Mahmoud Ibrahim.
In an official statement released on Monday, it was stated that this action was taken on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, signifying the UK’s strong commitment to holding accountable those responsible for such actions.
The individuals subjected to these sanctions will face “asset freezes and travel bans.”
Lord Ahmad, the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for the Prevention of Sexual Violence in Conflict, emphasized the significance of these sanctions, stating that they build upon the UK’s previous endeavours in this domain. He further expressed that the implementation of these measures sends a resolute message of solidarity to survivors while condemning these unlawful acts.
According to the statement, Abbas and Ibrahim have been involved in condoning sexual and gender-based violence, including the reprehensible practice of systematically raping civilians.
The Chief of the General Staff was complicit “in suppressing the Syrian population by commanding the military forces, which systematically employed rape and other forms of sexual violence.”
Assad’s defence minister Abbas “played a role in the systematic implementation of rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence against civilians,” according to the statement.
The United Kingdom has previously imposed sanctions on various political and military figures as well as officials within the Assad regime, often in coordination with the United States.
Several months ago, sanctions were enforced on individuals within the Assad regime who were involved in the production and smuggling of drugs and Captagon pills to countries worldwide.
Assad appointed the defence minister who is now under sanctions in April 2022, while Abdul Karim Ibrahim was simultaneously appointed as the chief of staff.
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.