US imposed severe sanctions on Syria for its human rights violation, which will impact its international standing and economy.
Crux of the Matter
Caesar Act Passed
US President Trump recently imposed Caesar law on Syria which was reported as a measure to stop “brutal acts against the Syrian people by the Assad regime”. The law targets 39 entities/people, which include President Bashar-al-Assad, his wife Asma and several prominent people.
Sequence Of Events
The law is named after photographer Caesar, who delivered 50,000+ pictures of torture occurring inside Syrian prisons. The law reinforces the freezing of assets of Assad and Asma in US. There would be sanctions on outsiders who attempt to support the Syrian govt financially or in technology, and on outsiders who engage in construction deals for areas under Syrian govt.
However, several critics have pointed to further aggravation of the economy ravaged by civil war as well as the Covid-19 pandemic.
Further Family Conflict
Rifaat al-Assad, the uncle of Bashar-al-Assad, was recently sentenced to 4 years imprisonment by the Paris Court of France. He was found guilty of acquiring property worth $113 million in France and €29 million in England using Syrian state’s funds, consequently being ordered to pay €30,000 to anti-corruption agencies. Rifaat has been in exile in France since the 1980s after he attempted to replace Hafez al-Assad, father of Bashar, who was the then Syrian President.
Syrian Civil War – Timeline
- 2011: Protests start in Syria to remove Al-Assad and install democracy. Eventually, they become violent and civil war ensues
- 2012: Official condemnation of civil war by UN fails as China and Russia voted against the move
- 2012: Israel fires shots on Syria in November as mortar shells damaged Israeli army post
- 2014: US and allies attack ISIS targets there
- 2016: Russia starts the withdrawal of troops
- 2019: Turkey launches an attack on it after Trump announces withdrawal from Turkey-Syria border
US supported the rebel groups against Al-Assad. The major rebel alliance was the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) comprising mainly of the Kurdish people. In 2014, it launched a major attack with its allies on the ISIS groups in Syria. It provided $1 billion to train and equip the rebels. However, President Trump cancelled the deal after annihilation caused by Russian forces.
In 2017, US upped its depredation by attacking the government airfields of Syria. In 2018, Trump partially reversed his decision to withdraw troops. In 2019, Trump withdrew forces from the Turkey-Syria border area while stating that Kurds are “not angels”, which was immediately attacked by Turkey through airstrikes.
- Bashar Hafez al-Assad is a Syrian politician who has been the President of Syria since 17 July 2000. In addition, he is the commander-in-chief of the Syrian Armed Forces and Regional Secretary of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party’s branch in Syria.
- Bassel al-Assad was a Syrian engineer, colonel, and politician who was the eldest son of Hafez al-Assad and the older brother of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It was widely expected that he would succeed his father as President of Syria until he died in a car accident in 1994.
- The current coat of arms of Syria consists of the Hawk of Quraish supporting a shield bearing the national flag of Syria (in vertical form), and a scroll of the words “Syrian Arab Republic” in Arabic. Since the start of the ongoing Syrian Civil War in March 2011, alternative coats of arms have been created by the Syrian opposition and the Federation of Northern Syria.
- BBC – Syria war: New US sanctions target Assad government’s foreign backers
- Reuters – French court finds Bashar al-Assad’s uncle guilty of property fraud
- The Guardian – US confirms 14 air strikes against Isis in Syria
- CNBC – Trump launches attack on Syria with 59 Tomahawk missiles
- The New York Times – Behind the Sudden Death of a $1 Billion Secret C.I.A. War in Syria
- USA Today – Trump says longtime allies the Kurds are ‘not angels,’ U.S. should not engage in Turkey-Syria conflict