Obama Sanction-o-Rama, Part 1: WMD, Syria, Zimbabwe changes

On Thursday, OFAC added the following individuals: 

ABBAS, Ghassan; DOB 10 Mar 1960; Scientific Studies and Research Center Brigadier General (individual) [NPWMD] (Linked To: SCIENTIFIC STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER). 
 
AHMAD, Firas; DOB 21 Jan 1967; Scientific Studies and Research Center Colonel (individual) [NPWMD] (Linked To: SCIENTIFIC STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER). 
 
BITAR, Bayan (a.k.a. AL-BITAR, Bayan), PO Box 11037, Damascus, Syria; DOB 08 Mar 1947; Managing Director of the Organization for Technological Industries (individual) [NPWMD] (Linked To: ORGANIZATION FOR TECHNOLOGICAL INDUSTRIES). 
 
DABUL, Samir; DOB 04 Sep 1965; Scientific Studies and Research Center Brigadier General (individual) [NPWMD] (Linked To: SCIENTIFIC STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER). 
  
HAWRANI, Habib; DOB 25 Mar 1969; Scientific Studies and Research Center Colonel (individual) [NPWMD] (Linked To: SCIENTIFIC STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER). 
 
HAYDAR, Zuhayr; DOB 18 Dec 1965; Scientific Studies and Research Center Colonel (individual) [NPWMD] (Linked To: SCIENTIFIC STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER). 
 
WANUS, Ali; DOB 05 Feb 1964; Scientific Studies and Research Center Brigadier General (individual) [NPWMD] (Linked To: SCIENTIFIC STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER).

and entity: 

ORGANIZATION FOR TECHNOLOGICAL INDUSTRIES (a.k.a. THE ORGANIZATION FOR TECHNICAL INDUSTRIES), Sham Algadida OTip Box, Damascus 11037, Syria [NPWMD] (Linked To: SCIENTIFIC STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER). 

to its non-proliferation (NPWMD) sanctions. In addition, they added the following individuals: 

AL-HASAN, Suhayl Hasan (a.k.a. HASSAN, Suheil), Syria; DOB 1964; Gender Male; Syrian Air Force Intelligence Colonel (individual) [SYRIA] (Linked To: SYRIAN AIR FORCE INTELLIGENCE). 
 
BALLUL, Ahmad (a.k.a. BALLUL, Ahmad Muhammad; a.k.a. BALLUL, Ahmed); DOB 10 Oct 1954; Major General, Syrian Air Force and Air Defense Forces Commander (individual) [SYRIA] (Linked To: SYRIAN AIR FORCE; Linked To: SYRIAN ARAB AIR DEFENSE FORCES). 
 
BILAL, Muhammad Nafi (a.k.a. BILAL, Muhammad), Syria; DOB 25 May 1971; alt. DOB 1971; Gender Male; Syrian Air Force Intelligence Colonel (individual) [SYRIA] (Linked To: SYRIAN AIR FORCE INTELLIGENCE). 
 
DAHI, Yasin Ahmad, Syria; DOB 1960; Gender Male; Brigadier General (individual) [SYRIA] (Linked To: SYRIAN MILITARY INTELLIGENCE). 
 
DARWISH, Saji Jamil, Syria; DOB 11 Jan 1957; Gender Male; Major General, Syrian Air Force (individual) [SYRIA] (Linked To: SYRIAN AIR FORCE). 
 
IBRAHIM, Muhammad; DOB 05 Aug 1964; Brigadier General (individual) [SYRIA] (Linked To: SYRIAN AIR FORCE). 
 
MAHALLA, Muhammad Mahmud (a.k.a. MAHALA, Muhammad), Syria; DOB 04 Jun 1959; Gender Male; Major General, Director of Syrian Military Intelligence (individual) [SYRIA] (Linked To: SYRIAN MILITARY INTELLIGENCE). 
 
MAKHLUF, Talal Shafiq (a.k.a. MAKHLOUF, Talal), Syria; DOB 01 Dec 1958; Gender Male; Major General, Syrian Republican Guard (individual) [SYRIA] (Linked To: SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLICAN GUARD). 
 
MUALLA, Badi (a.k.a. MUALLA, Badi Sulayman), Syria; DOB 1961; alt. DOB 05 Apr 1961; POB Bistuwir, Jablah, Syria; Gender Male; Brigadier General, Syrian Air Force (individual) [SYRIA] (Linked To: SYRIAN AIR FORCE). 
 
RAHMUN, Muhammad Khalid, Syria; DOB 01 Apr 1957; Gender Male; Major General; Chief of the Political Security Directorate (individual) [SYRIA] (Linked To: POLITICAL SECURITY DIRECTORATE). 
 
SHIHADAH, Rafiq (a.k.a. SHAHADAH, Rafiq; a.k.a. SHEHADEH, Rafik; a.k.a. SHIHADA, Rafiq; a.k.a. SHIHADAH, Wafiq), Syria; DOB 1954; Gender Male; Major General (individual) [SYRIA]. 
 
WANUS, Ali; DOB 05 Feb 1964; Scientific Studies and Research Center Brigadier General (individual) [NPWMD] (Linked To: SCIENTIFIC STUDIES AND RESEARCH CENTER).

and entities: 

 
SYRIAN AIR FORCE, Damascus, Syria [SYRIA]. 
 
SYRIAN ARAB AIR DEFENSE FORCES, Damascus, Syria [SYRIA]. 
 
SYRIAN ARAB ARMY, Damascus, Syria [SYRIA]. 
 
SYRIAN ARAB NAVY, Damascus, Syria [SYRIA]. 
 
SYRIAN ARAB REPUBLICAN GUARD, Damascus, Syria [SYRIA].

to the Syria sanctions program. Finally, they removed the following company: 

ZIMRE HOLDINGS LIMITED (a.k.a. WWW.ZHL.CO.ZW; a.k.a. ZIMRE), 9th Floor, Zimre Centre, Cnr. Leopold Takawira/Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, P.O. Box 4839, Harare, Zimbabwe; Phone No. 263-4-772963; Fax No. 263-4-772972 [ZIMBABWE]. 
 
ZIMRE (a.k.a. WWW.ZHL.CO.ZW; a.k.a. ZIMRE HOLDINGS LIMITED), 9th Floor, Zimre Centre, Cnr. Leopold Takawira/Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, P.O. Box 4839, Harare, Zimbabwe; Phone No. 263-4-772963; Fax No. 263-4-772972 [ZIMBABWE]. 
 
WWW.ZHL.CO.ZW (a.k.a. ZIMRE; a.k.a. ZIMRE HOLDINGS LIMITED), 9th Floor, Zimre Centre, Cnr. Leopold Takawira/Kwame Nkrumah Avenue, P.O. Box 4839, Harare, Zimbabwe; Phone No. 263-4-772963; Fax No. 263-4-772972 [ZIMBABWE].

from the Zimbabwe sanctions program.

For good measure, because the Syrians were being sanctioned for their part in using chemical weapons, Treasury issued the following press release:

 Treasury Sanctions Syrian Officials In Connection With OPCW-UN Findings Of Regime’s Use Of Chemical Weapons On Civilians


1/12/2017 

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) is taking action in response to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) – United Nations (UN) Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) findings that the Syrian regime used industrial chlorine as a weapon against its own people.  OFAC is designating 18 senior regime officials connected to Syria’s weapons of mass destruction program and identifying five Syrian military branches as part of the Government of Syria.  In reports issued in August and October 2016, the JIM – established by the UN Security Council to investigate incidents of already-confirmed chemical weapon attacks – found that the Syrian government, specifically the Syrian Arab Air Force, was responsible for three chlorine gas attacks in Talmenes on April 21, 2014, and in Qmenas and Sarmin on March 16, 2015.  In response to the reports’ findings, OFAC is for the first time sanctioning Syrian military officials in connection with the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons.
 
“The Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons against its own people is a heinous act that violates the longstanding global norm against the production and use of chemical weapons,” said Adam J. Szubin, Acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.  “Today’s action is a critical part of the international community’s effort to hold the Syrian regime accountable for violating the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) and UN Security Council Resolution 2118.”
 
As a result of today’s action, any property or interest in property of the identified persons in the possession or control of U.S. persons or within the United States must be blocked.  Additionally, transactions by U.S. persons involving these persons are generally prohibited.
 
Syrian Military Branches
 
Pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13582 targeting the Government of Syria, Treasury is identifying the Syrian Arab Air ForceSyrian Arab Air Defense ForcesSyrian Arab ArmySyrian Arab Navy, and Syrian Arab Republican Guard as blocked agencies or instrumentalities of the Government of Syria.
 
Syrian Military Officials 
 
E.O. 13572 Designations:  OFAC is designating five individuals for being senior officials of Syrian Air Force Intelligence (SAFI), Syrian Military Intelligence (SMI), or the Syrian Political Security Directorate (PSD).  These designations are being made pursuant to E.O. 13572, which targets certain persons with respect to human rights abuses in Syria.  OFAC previously designated SAFI, SMI, and PSD in 2011, all pursuant to E.O. 13572.
 
·         SAFI Colonel Suhayl Hasan al-Hasan is a commander of fighters in Aleppo tied to barrel bombings in multiple locations in Syria, one of which coincided with a regime helicopter dropping toxic gas via a barrel bomb on a Syrian town.
 
·         SAFI Colonel Muhammad Nafi Bilal was involved in the transport of chemical munitions.
 
·         Muhammad Khalid Rahmun is the PSD chief.  
 
·         SMI Brigadier General Yasin Ahmad Dahi and SMI Director Major General Muhammad Mahmud Mahalla have both been linked to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons.
 
E.O. 13573 Designations:  OFAC is designating five individuals pursuant to E.O. 13573 for being senior officials of the Government of Syria.
 
·         Major General Ahmad Ballul is the commander of the Syrian Arab Air Force and Syrian Arab Air Defense Forces.
 
·         Major General Saji Jamil Darwish and Brigadier General Badi’ Mualla are senior officials in the Syrian Arab Air Force.  The Syrian Arab Air Force has engaged in air support sorties from Hamah Air Base using various aircraft, including helicopters carrying barrel bombs.
 
·         Major General Talal Shafiq Makhluf is the commander of the Syrian Arab Republican Guard.
 
·         Brigadier General Muhammad Ibrahim is an officer in the Syrian Air Force.
 
E.O. 13582 Designation:  OFAC is designating Major General Rafiq Shihadah, a former head of SMI who remains in military service, for materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, the Government of Syria, pursuant to E.O. 13582, which targets the Government of Syria.
 
Scientific Studies and Research Center Officials
 
As part of today’s action, OFAC is also designating several officials of the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) pursuant to E.O.13382, which targets proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters.  The SSRC is the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the means to deliver them and was named in the annex to E.O. 13382.
 
Brigadier General Ghassan Abbas, the director of an SSRC branch affiliated with chemical weapons logistics, is being designated for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the SSRC.  The European Union previously sanctioned Abbas for proliferating chemical weapons and organizing chemical weapons attacks, including the sarin attack in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta in August 2013.  As of 2016, Abbas has continued operating at locations in Syria associated with chemical warfare-related missions.
 
OFAC is also designating five additional SSRC officials, all of whom, like Abbas, have been linked to SSRC branches affiliated with chemical weapons logistics or research.  Brigadier General Ali WanusBrigadier General Samir DabulColonel Zuhayr HaydarColonel Habib Hawrani, and Colonel Firas Ahmad are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the SSRC.
 
Organization for Technological Industries (OTI) and its Managing Director
 
The U.S. Department of State is also designating today the Organization for Technological Industries (OTI) pursuant to E.O. 13382.  As part of today’s action, OFAC is designating Bayan Bitar, the Managing Director of OTI, for acting or purporting to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, OTI.  OTI is a subsidiary of the Syrian Ministry of Defense that assists in the production of chemical weapons.

Links:

OFAC Notice

Treasury Press Release

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