U.S. adopts sanctions against Syrian companies
The U.S. Treasury adopted on Wednesday sanctions against Syria's leading bank and mobile operator over the alleged development of weapons of mass destruction and human rights violations
Syria has been rocked by mass protests demanding reforms and resignation of President Bashar al-Assad for the last four months.
David Cohen of the Treasury on the department's website said the sanctions concerned the state-owned Commercial Bank of Syria and its Lebanese branch Syrian Lebanese Commercial Bank, and also Rami Makhlouf, the owner of Syriatel, the country's main mobile phone operator, and also the first cousin of the president.
The Treasury said the Syrian banks in question had helped develop weapons of mass destruction both in Syria and in North Korea, while Makhlouf was allegedly guilty of human rights violations in Syria. The assets of these organizations under U.S. jurisdiction have been frozen.
The U.S. authorities had repeatedly threatened sanctions against Damascus.