Use of chemical weapons in Syria: EU imposes sanctions against 16 additional persons
On 17 July 2017, the Council added 16 persons to the list of those targeted by EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime. The EU added these16 persons for their role in the development and use of chemical weapons against the civilian population, in line with the EU’s policy to fight the proliferation and use of chemical weapons. These persons include 8 high-ranking military officials and 8 scientists involved in chemical weapons proliferation and delivery. The EU had already imposed restrictive measures on high ranking officials , most recently on 4 March 2017 for the use of chemical weapons.
Today’s decision brings to 255 persons the total number of persons targeted by a travel ban and an assets freeze for being responsible for the violent repression against the civilian population in Syria, benefiting from or supporting the regime, and/or being associated with such persons.
In addition, 67 entities are targeted by an assets freeze. More broadly, sanctions currently in place against Syria include an oil embargo, restrictions on certain investments, a freeze of the assets of the Syrian central bank held in the EU, export restrictions on equipment and technology that might be used for internal repression as well as on equipment and technology for the monitoring or interception of internet or telephone communications. These measures were last extended on 29 May 2017 and are in place until 1 June 2018.
The EU remains committed to finding a lasting political solution to the conflict in Syria under the existing UN-agreed framework. As stated in the EU strategy on Syria adopted in April 2017, the EU believes that there can be no military solution to the conflict and strongly supports the work of the UN Special Envoy and the intra-Syrian talks in Geneva.
As the leading donor in the international response to the Syrian crisis with over €9.4 billion from the EU and member states collectively allocated in humanitarian and development assistance since the start of the conflict, the EU continues to support the delivery of humanitarian aid to all Syrians, including those who are under siege or in areas which are hard to reach. The EU response also includes support to international institutions which work to ensure accountability for violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law.
The EU will be ready to assist in the reconstruction of Syria only when a comprehensive, genuine and inclusive political transition, negotiated by the Syrian parties in the conflict on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015) and the 2012 Geneva Communiqué, is firmly under way.
The legal acts adopted by the Council, including the names of the persons concerned, are published in the Official Journal of 18 July 2017.