US sanctions Russian bank, middleman for helping Assad

US sanctions Syrian middleman involved in oil purchase from DAESH, Russian bank and others financing Assad regime

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew with other high ranking Treasury Department officials at a press conference

The US imposed sanctions on supporters, one of which was a middleman, of Syrian President Bashar al Assad's regime, who have helped the regime buy oil from DAESH, and a Russian bank that financed the regime, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OPAC) said on Wednesday.

US said it would freeze assets of six entities and four people. Any US transactions with them have been prohibited.

Russian Financial Alliance Bank and two individuals, Mudalal Khuri and Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who hold shares or manage the bank, are also among those who are targeted for their role in financial transactions with the Syrian government. 

"OFAC designated Russian Financial Alliance Bank (RFA Bank) today for being owned or controlled by Khuri and Ilyumzhinov.  Khuri is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of RFA Bank, and Ilyumzhinov is a major shareholder of RFA Bank and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of RFA Bank," the statement said.

The department also targeted a Syrian businessman, George Haswani, who the department said "serves as a middleman for oil purchases by the Syrian regime" from DAESH.

"The United States will continue targeting the finances of all those enabling Assad to continue inflicting violence on the Syrian people," Adam Szubin, acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in the statement.

Russia, has been one of the main allies of Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad since the civil war started in 2011. Russia started an air campaign in Syria targeting Assad’s opponents on September 30, forcing more than 120,000 Syrians to leave their homes.


TRTWorld and agencies