Update: Additional List-Based U.S. Sanctions on Syria

May 18, 2011

In response to the Government of Syria's escalation of violence against the people of Syria, on May 18, 2011, President Obama signed an Executive Order blocking the property of seven members of Syria's top leadership, including Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, for human rights abuses. [1]  This Order closely follows Executive Order 13572 of April 29, 2011, that blocked the property of five designated persons (including President al- Assads' brother, Mahir al-Asad) identified to have committed human rights abuses in Syria. [2]

Specifically, the May 18, 2011 Order blocks all property and interests in property within the jurisdiction of the United States of the following individuals, each of whom is identified as responsible for the violent crackdown against protestors:

  • Bashar Al-Assad: President of the Syrian Arab Republic
  • Farouk Al-Shara: Vice President
  • Adel Safar: Prime Minister
  • Mohammad Ibrahim Al-Shaar: Minister of the Interior
  • Ali Habib Mahmoud: Minister of Defense
  • Abdul Fatad Qudsiya: Head of Syrian Military Intelligence
  • Mohammed Dib Zaitoun: Director of Political Security Directorate

Consistent with prior guidance [3] from the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Order should be treated as also blocking the property of entities owned or controlled by these persons.  

Possible European Union Sanctions

While the European Union has discussed possible sanctions against President Assad, EU officials do not anticipate making a decision on this issue until next week. [4]

This article was co-authored by John B. Reynolds, III and Cari N. Stinebower.

[1]               See

[2]               See Wiley Rein's "New List-Based Sanctions on Syria" (April 29, 2011),

[3]               See OFAC Guidance on Entities Owned by Persons Whose Property or Interest in Property is Blocked, (February 14, 2008),

[4]               See EU to discuss Assad sanctions next week: diplomats, EU Business (May 17, 2011)

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