July 17, 2017
We applaud today’s decision by the European Council to sanction sixteen senior military officials and Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Centre Scientists (SSRC) for their roles in the development and use of chemical weapons against civilian populations. This action follows sanctions designations recently undertaken by the United States, similarly aimed at holding the Syrian regime accountable for its repeated use of chemicals weapons on the Syrian people, including the April 4 Khan Shaykhun attack. In April 2017, the United States sanctioned numerous employees of the SSRC, the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons in support of Syria’s chemical weapons program. Additionally, in May 2017, the United States sanctioned a number of Syrian individuals and entities in response to acts of violence committed by the Government of Syria against its own citizens.
The combined efforts of the United States and the European Union, as well as recent sanctions actions by other partner states, are part of a continuing effort in the international community to hold the Assad regime responsible for violating longstanding global norms against the use of chemical weapons.