Measures restrict movement and freeze assets of 16 Syrian scientists and military officials, following chemical attacks

The EU has imposed sanctions on eight Syrian scientists and eight high-ranking military officials for their role in developing chemical weapons used on civilians. The individuals will be banned from traveling in the EU, and their European assets will be frozen.

There’s been a series of chemical weapon attacks in Syria, notably the sarin gas attack launched by the Syrian regime in April that killed nearly 100 civilians. In response, the US Treasury Department sanctioned 271 employees at the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC) back in April.

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert applauded the new EU actions. ‘The combined efforts of the United States and the European Union, as well as recent sanctions actions by other partner states, are part of a continuing effort in the international community to hold the Assad regime responsible for violating longstanding global norms against the use of chemical weapons,’ Nauert said.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the EU sanctions show Europe’s firmness ‘in dealing with those who are responsible for chemical weapons attacks’.