Washington – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury continued the U.S. government’s campaign of pressure to compel the Bashar Al-Assad (Assad) regime to end its attacks against the Syrian people. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action against the Syrian presidential office and the Syrian Ba’ath Party through its designations of two senior members of the Syrian government: Assad’s top press officer and a prominent member of the Syrian Ba’ath Party. These designations, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13573, target both individuals for their roles as senior Government of Syria officials.
“These Syrian government officials actively contribute to the oppression of the Assad regime,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The United States will continue to impose costs on those facilitating the Assad regime’s ongoing war against its own people.”
Luna Al Shibl (Al Shibl) is a prominent member of Assad’s inner circle. A former television news anchor, she is an advisor to Assad, his press officer, and one of the most senior press officials in the Syrian government. During Al Shibl’s tenure with the Syrian Government, she has been instrumental in developing Assad’s false narrative that he maintains control of the country and that the Syrian people flourish under his leadership. Despite countless Syrian civilians living under desperate siege in Syria’s decade-long war, Al Shibl orchestrated photo ops for Assad among cheering Syrians. Al Shibl is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13573 for being a senior official of the Government of Syria.
OFAC also designated Mohamad Ammar Saati bin Mohamad Nawzad (Saati) today. Saati is a longtime leader within the Syrian Ba’ath Party, a former Syrian parliamentarian, and the husband of Al Shibl. Since the early 1990s, Saati has held multiple official leadership positions within the Syrian Ba’ath Party, including his appointment to the Central Committee, a committee headed by Assad. Saati has served in high-ranking positions in both the Regional Command and Central Committee of the Syrian Ba’ath Party, which contain some of the highest-ranking members of the Assad regime and are instrumental in shaping the Syrian Government’s brutal policies. Until recently, Saati was also the president of the National Union of Syrian Students (NUSS), an organization with branches inside and outside of Syria that are used to promote the Syrian Ba’ath Party. Saati is credited with the idea of creating the “Ba’ath Brigades,” a group of student volunteer fighters that augmented the Syrian armed forces. The militia group fought under the Syrian military while also remaining under Ba’ath Party control. Under Saati’s leadership, the NUSS recruited students and processed their applications for membership in the pro-Assad militia group. Saati is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13573 for being a senior official of the Government of Syria.
Concurrent with the Treasury Department’s designations today, the State Department took action against other supporting elements of the Syrian regime through the designation of four persons pursuant to Section 2 of E.O. 13894, focused on those involved in the obstruction, disruption, or prevention of a political solution to the Syrian conflict and or a ceasefire in Syria. The only path to resolve the conflict in Syria is through a nationwide ceasefire and the political process outlined in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254. The United States and its allies are united in continuing to apply pressure on Assad and his enablers until there is a peaceful, political solution to the conflict.
All property and interests in property of these persons that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC. OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons. In addition, non-U.S. persons that engage in certain transactions with the persons designated today may themselves be exposed to designation.
For more information regarding the scope of any sanctions program’s requirements, please contact OFAC’s Sanction Compliance and Evaluation Division at (800) 540-6322 or (202) 622-2490, or by email at OFAC_Feedback@treasury.gov.