On April 24, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned 271 employees of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (“SSRC”) pursuant to Executive Order 13582 (targeting the Syrian government and its supporters). The designations are part of the Trump Administration’s response to the April 4, 2017 chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Syria, carried out by the Syrian government. According to the OFAC press release, the targeted individuals “have expertise in chemistry and related disciplines and/or have worked in support of SSRC’s chemical weapons program since at least 2012.” The new designations come on the heels of a U.S. missile strike against the Syrian airbase from which the chemical attack was launched.
Pursuant to the designations, the property and interests in property of the sanctioned individuals, to the extent located in the United States or in the possession or control of a U.S. person, are blocked. Essentially, this means that all U.S. persons worldwide are required to freeze the sanctioned persons’ assets and are cut off from all transactions and dealings with them. Continue Reading