12 NOV 2020
The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on the efforts to restore Syria’s oil production network, with the support of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. The sanctions were announced against seven individuals and 10 entities, including companies tied to Syria’s oil refineries, oil terminal, and a Lebanese shipping company.
This action is the Treasury Department’s fifth round of Syria-related actions under a 2019 act. In announcing the sanctions, Treasury department spokespeople said today’s actions complement the international effort to compel the Assad regime to cease the war it is waging against its people and in line with the UN Security Council’s resolutions to achieve a peaceful, political resolution of the Syrian conflict.
“The Treasury Department is determined to continue to apply economic pressure on the Assad regime and its supporters for the repression conducted by the regime,” said Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. With these actions, the U.S. government is endeavoring to disrupt and dissuade regime loyalists from continuing to support Assad and to hamper the flow of future oil-derived revenue to Assad’s war chest.
Among the targets of the sanctions is the Arfada Petroleum Private Joint Stock Company of Syria and Sallizar Shipping based in Lebanon. The two companies are reported to have substantial contracts with the Government of Syria to develop the Syrian oil sector. Among the efforts that they are believed to be pursuing is the establishment of two new oil refineries in Syria. Arfada and Sallizar have further reached an agreement with the Syrian Ministry of Petroleum and PERD to develop and expand the Tartus oil terminal.
The Treasury Department reports that the agreements are with the Syrian Ministry of Petroleum, a government entity that oversees the country’s oil and natural gas sectors. It acts as the parent company of all state-owned refineries and oil distribution companies.
OFAC also sanctioned individuals including a Syrian businessman Hussam al-Qaterji who is a 33 percent shareholder of Arfada, as well as Kamal Imad al-Din al-Madani and Tariq Imad al-Din al-Madani, two of the four founders of Sallizar. Other government individuals included in the sanctions were the heads of the Syrian Air Force Intelligence and Political Security Directorate and members of parliament