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Syrian sanctions Swiss target more Syrian firms and individuals

The latest sanctions were primarily aimed at high-ranking Syrian soldiers

(Keystone)

Another three Syrian firms, including the national airline, have been banned from doing business in Switzerland, and Swiss travel bans and asset freezes imposed on around 25 Syrians, mainly military officials.

The move aligns Switzerland with European Union measures announced in late July, the State Secretariat for Economics (Seco) spokeswoman Antje Baertschi told Reuters on Tuesday.

As a result of the sanctions, Syrian Arab Airlines (SAA) is prohibited from landing at Swiss airports, where Swiss financial and airport services would not be provided, Baertschi said. The airline does not currently fly to any destinations in Switzerland.

The other companies affected are Drex Technologies and the Cotton Marketing Organisation, which support the regime in Damascus financially, Baertschi said. 

The some 25 individuals added to the list include high-ranking members of President Bashar al-Assad’s government, including brigadier generals and police officers. Their bank assets will be frozen.

The new sanctions come on the heels of a “total revision” of sanctions against Syria imposed by the Swiss government in July.

At that time, financial and travel sanctions had been applied to more than 128 people and 42 businesses linked to the Syrian regime. The list was updated to include the political and media advisor to Assad, the defence and interior ministries, the National Security Office, and state radio and television broadcasters, as well as the Syria International Islamic Bank (SIIB).

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the United States dropped sanctions against Syria’s former prime minister Riyad Farid Hijab. US department of state spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said sanctions were dropped because Hijab no longer belongs to Assad’s regime.

Refugees

The official number of Syrian refugees seeking UN help was up to 150,000 in mid-August, with the inofficial number estimated at 200,000. The countries of Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq received the most refugees.

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swissinfo.ch and agencies


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