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US sanctions Syria's Central Bank, 9 other entities, 7 individuals

ANI | Updated: Dec 23, 2020 00:14 IST

Washington [US], December 23 (ANI/Sputnik): The United States has added Syria's Central Bank, seven Syrians including a high-ranking official and nine Syrian entities to its Specially Designated and Nationals and Blocked Persons List (SDN List), the Treasury Department announced in a press release on Tuesday.
"The US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned a high-ranking official in the Syrian government; her husband, a member of the Syrian People's Assembly; and their business entities," the release said. "In total, OFAC added two individuals, nine business entities, and the Central Bank of Syria to the SDN List, pursuant to Syria sanctions authorities."
The Treasury Department explained that the latest sanctions target senior Syrian official Lina Mohammed Nazir al-Kinayeh, who serves in the Office of the Syrian Presidency.
"This office follows up on the files and decisions of the Presidential Palace's Anti-Corruption Committee, which Assad directly supervises, using judicial, advisory, and administrative authorities under its jurisdiction," it said. "Closely aligned with the Assad regime as a high-ranking official in the Presidential Palace, al-Kinayeh has conducted a range of business and personal activities on behalf of Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad and previously headed the Office of the First Lady of Syria."
The Treasury Department said it has also sanctioned Al-Kinayeh's husband - Mohammed Hammam Mohammed Adnan Masouti.

"Masouti is a member of the Syrian People's Assembly's Arab and Foreign Affairs Committee and he has also served as the Director of the Educational Hospitals Directorate in the Ministry of Higher Education, which reportedly enabled his corruption in Syria's hospital system as well as self-serving deals with the support of his wife," the release said. "Masouti's connections to the Assad regime through his wife, as well as his businesses and vast financial holdings, make Masouti an unusually influential parliamentarian."
In addition, the Treasury Department said it has sanctioned four companies - Souran Company, Lia Company, Letia Company and Polymedics LLC - that are owned or controlled by al-Kinayeh or Masouti.
The latest sanctions target five entities identified as the blocked property of Amer Taysir Khiti or Khiti Holding Group, previously sanctioned by the United States, the release said.
The newly added business entities include Al-Amer for Manufacture of Concrete and Flagstone, Al-Amer for Manufacture of Plastic, Al-Layth Alzahabe Transportation and Shipping Services, Al-Amer Development and Real Estate Investment and Good Land Company, the release said.
"OFAC additionally added the Central Bank of Syria (CBoS) to the SDN List, highlighting its blocked status," the release said. "The CBoS is already blocked as meeting the definition of the Government of Syria in E.O. 13582 and the Syrian Sanctions Regulations, 31 C.F.R. Part 542."
On December 9, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Joel Rayburn said at a congressional hearing that more Syria-related sanctions could be applied before President Donald Trump leaves office. (ANI/Sputnik)