US official justifies designating First Division and President Assad’s son under sanctions
US Treasury declared the second round of Caesar Act designations that included the First Division of the Syrian army, President Assad’s son, Hafez Bashar al-Assad, Syrian businessman, Waseem Kattan and Xuhair al-Assad and his son Karam. In a press conference, justifying designating the second round of Caesar Act, Rayburn accused the Syrian army units of imposing taxes on goods. Rayburn claimed that officials and Syrian businessmen affiliated with the Syrian government tend to do their business through their family members to evade the sanctions. Hence, the sanctions against Assad’s son.
An SDC well-informed source said these justifications do not make sense and the new designations include irrelevant entities, such as Yalbagha Trade Complex although it is still under construction as well as other shopping centers in Damascus, such as Qasyoun Mall amd al-Maliki Mall and al-Jalaa Hotel and Laroussa Furniture Store. The new designations prove that Caesar Act is in fact targeting Syrian economy, civilians and their bread and butter.