On April 24, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a press release and updated the Specially Designated National (SDN) List by adding 271 new Syrian nationals that are employed by Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC). SSRC is the Syrian government agency responsible for the development and deployment of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons program. As a result of the designation, any assets held by the individuals in the United States will be frozen and U.S. persons are generally blocked from dealing with the listed individuals.
The press release indicates that this new designation “more than doubles in a single action the number of individuals and entities sanctioned by the United States pursuant to Syria-related Executive Orders (E.O.s). These sanctions are intended to hold the Assad regime and those who support it – directly or indirectly – accountable for the regime’s blatant violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 2118.”
OFAC designated the individuals for “materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, and having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, the Government of Syria.”