On Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury and State Departments announced a series of designations and sanctions targeting multiple bad actors in the Syrian war. The financial restrictions are intended to restrict the flow of cash to those parties responsible for committing atrocities in a war that is now nearly a decade old.
No actor has killed and imprisoned more Syrians than Bashar al-Assad’s regime. And the U.S. government sanctioned multiple Syrian officials who are responsible for overseeing Assad’s mass murder and torture machine. “More than 14,000 detainees have reportedly died after being tortured at the hands of the Assad regime, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, while 130,000 Syrians are reportedly still missing or detained,” the State Department pointed out. And these prisoners are held in a network of facilities run by the Assad regime’s intelligence arms, which were targeted in the most recent measures.
However, the U.S. government’s financial sanctions don’t just target Bashar al-Assad’s henchmen. Others are intended to limit the resources of extremists and jihadists backed by Turkey, a NATO ally that has developed a web of unsavory connections in the terrorist underworld.
Consider the case of Ahrar al-Sharqiya, an extremist group that has played a key role in Turkey’s military incursions into northern Syria.