NYT: U.S. to tighten sanctions against Syria

At the same time, as the publication notes, their effectiveness is questionable.

Washington intends to toughen sanctions against Syria in order to change power in the country, but many experts doubt the effectiveness of this approach. This was stated in an article published in The New York Times on Tuesday.

According to the article, officials from the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump are determined to introduce new restrictions on the basis of the American “Caesar’s law. It was included in the U.S. military budget for fiscal year 2020 and gives the Washington administration the right to apply restrictive measures against organizations and individuals providing direct and indirect assistance to Damascus, as well as various armed groups operating in the country.

The article quotes Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Middle East Affairs Joel Rayburn. He noted that the sanctions “will not end” until “the Syrian regime and its allies agree” to a change of power in the country.

According to the publication, many experts express doubts that this approach will allow the U.S. to achieve its desired goals without active diplomatic efforts. “Sanctions alone cannot solve the problem,” quotes former Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Treasury Department, John Smith.

“It’s hard to understand what else the U.S. government is doing in Syria except putting a group of Syrian regime officials on a list that they don’t care about”, –  he believes.

The introduction of U.S. sanctions against Syria leads to further deterioration of the situation of the population, the article states. It quotes Basma Alush, advisor to the international non-profit organization Norwegian Refugee Foundation.

“If the U.S. imposes such broad sanctions for the realization of some political goals, they do not pay enough attention to unintended consequences”, –  she believes.

Alexander Bick, formerly a member of the White House National Security Council (NSC), believes that U.S. sanctions against Syria or Russia “do not change the situation in these countries in a decisive way. “In the end, sanctions are an element of the diplomatic process,” he told the newspaper.