The Treasury Department announced new sanctions today after the sarin attack carried out by Assad’s forces on a Syrian town in rebel hands.
The Trump administration on Monday said it was sanctioning 271 employees of the Syrian government agency that produces chemical weapons and ballistic missiles, blacklisting them from travel and financial transactions in the wake of a sarin attack on civilians this month.
The sanctions on members of President Bashar al-Assad’s Scientific Studies and Research Center more than doubles the number of Syrian individuals and entities whose property has been blocked by the United States and who are barred from financial transactions with American people or companies. It seeks to punish those behind this month’s chemical weapons attacks and previous ones carried out by Mr. Assad’s government, senior administration officials said, and to deter others who are contemplating similar actions.
“The United States is sending a strong message with this action that we will hold the entire Assad regime accountable for these blatant human rights violations in order to deter the spread of these types of barbaric chemical weapons,” Steven T. Mnuchin, the secretary of the Treasury, said in a statement. “We take Syria’s disregard for innocent human life very seriously, and will relentlessly pursue and shut down the financial networks of all individuals involved with the production of chemical weapons used to commit these atrocities.”
To fully appreciate this you need to look at the work of Saul Alinsky. Rule 12 of his Rules for Radicals says, “Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.” (If you want to understand the “Flush Rush” movement or the spate of sexual harassment allegations against FoxNews personalities, think about this rule.) Individual sanctions against these individuals will have a direct impact on their ability to travel, to have bank accounts in stable places, it will open any funds they have outside of Syria to seizure as many nations cooperate with the US Treasury in enforcing sanctions. If the Syrian regime goes belly up, there will be no flight to Geneva for any of these people. They and their families will be stuck.
Word is that more sanctions on Syria and Syrians may be in the works.