US sanctions Syria’s central bank chief

US sanctions Syria’s central bank chief
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The United States today imposed a new round of sanctions on Syrian officials, including the governor of the Central Bank of Syria, in the Trump administration’s latest push to squeeze President Bashar al-Assad of his financial backers, Al-monitor reported.  

“The United States will continue to employ all of its tools and authorities to target the finances of anyone who profits from or facilitates the Assad regime’s abuse of the Syrian people,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement today

Prominent Syrian businessman Khodr Taher bin Ali was among the “key enablers” named in the latest round of sanctions. The Treasury Department said bin Ali acts as an intermediary and contractor for the 4th Division, an elite military unit in the Syrian Arab Army, and has run a number of companies used to launder money on behalf of the regime. 

The Treasury imposed sanctions on Husam Muhammad Louka, the head of the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate, accusing him of torturing of detainees in the Syrian city of Homs and involvement in a massacre that killed 19 people at a children’s playground in 2015.  

Central Bank governor Hazem Younes Karfoul was also designated, along with Nasreen Ibrahim and Rana Ibrahim. According to US officials, the Ibrahim family acts as a front for Assad and his wife, Asma.

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