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World
25 Apr 2017

Syria chemical attack: US imposes "sweeping sanctions"

The US has imposed "sweeping" sanctions on 271 employees of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Centre (SSRC).

The SSRC is a Syrian government agency which the US believes created the nerve agent that killed 87 people in a chemical attack in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun.

The US blames Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime for the attack which has denied its role.

In context

US imposes sanctions on Syria over chemical attack

Treasury: "Sweeping sanctions" target Assad's chemical weapons scientific support centre

"These sweeping sanctions target the scientific support centre for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's horrific chemical weapons attack on innocent civilian men, women, and children," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

What do the sanctions include?

Details

What do the sanctions include?

The US Department of Treasury said the 271 employees were "responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the means to deliver them."

The assets of all employees will be frozen under the sanctions. American citizens are prohibited from having any dealings with them.

The center was sanctioned in 2005 and 2007 for allegedly developing weapons of mass destruction.

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Violations

Sanctions meant to hold Assad regime accountable

"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," Mnuchin said.

On April 7, President Donald Trump ordered the US military to launch missile strikes against a Syrian air force base, in retaliation to the chemical attack.

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