Syria: Close allies of Bashar al-Assad hit with freezes and travel bans under new UK sanctions

Six close allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad – including his foreign minister – have been targeted with asset freezes and travel bans as part of fresh UK sanctions.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced the action on the 10th anniversary of the Syrian uprising.

He said the sanctions were aimed at holding the Assad regime “to account for their wholesale assault on the very citizens they should be protecting”.

“The Assad regime has subjected the Syrian people to a decade of brutality for the temerity of demanding peaceful reform,” Mr Raab added.

The new sanctions are the first against the Syrian regime under the UK’s new post-Brexit sanctions regime.

There are already more than 350 sanctions listings in place related to the decade-long conflict in Syria.

Among the fresh sanctions announced on Monday, Syria’s foreign affairs minister Faisal Miqdad – who was appointed in November last year – has been targeted for his shared responsibility “for the Syrian regime’s violent repression against the civilian population”.

President al-Assad’s media adviser, Luna al-Shibl, two Syrian army generals and two businessmen associated with the regime have also been targeted.

The Foreign Office said the individuals were “all part of or support the regime, and are responsible for repressing the Syrian people or benefitting from their misery”.

In the ten years since the Syrian conflict began, more than half a million have died and millions have been displaced.

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