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UN Sanctions

There are no sanctions in place against Syria set by the United Nations. 

EU Sanctions

The EU sanctions regime against Syria is based on two sets of regulations (one of the below authorities is also mentioned under Lebanon page): 

This is a regime-based and list-based regime consisted of the following restrictive measures: 

  • Travel ban

  • Financial sanctions (asset freeze) 

  • Trade sanctions 

  • Arms embargo

U.S. Sanctions

Syria program, which is one of the few comprehensive sanction programs of the U.S., started in 2004 following the issuance of E.O. 13338 by the former President George W. Bush. This E.O. which implemented Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act of 2003 put in place certain trade (arm embargo and export of several U.S. goods) and financial sanctions as well as certain transportation restrictions. 

Almost a year later, another executive order, E.O. 13399,  was issued to address the events related to the terror of Rafiq Hariri in Beirut which expanded the designation grounds under the Syria program. 

Later in 2008, E.O. 13460 expanded the grounds for designations by targeting corruption of Syrian officials.  

Between April and August of 2011, former President, Barak Obama, issued three executive orders (E.O. 1357213573, and 13582) and expanded the designation grounds under this program in response to the deteriorating human rights situation in Syria. As part of these actions, the top officials of the Government and the Government itself became designated. In addition to freezing the assets of the Government of Syria,  E.O. 13582, among other things, prohibited any investment in Syria (by a U.S. Person), provision of services to Syria, importation of petroleum (and petroleum related products) from Syria. 

In April and May of 2012, the U.S. President issued executive orders 13606, and 13608 respectively. These E.O.s designated a number of individuals and entities and added more grounds for designations and put in place some travel bans. Those designated under 13606 are identified with the tag of [HRIT-SY], while those designated under the 13608 bear the tag of [FSE-SY]. 

More recently Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019 was passed as part of National Defense Authorization Act of 2020 and it provided for new sanctions to be imposed by the executive branch. In July of 2020, OFAC designated a number of targets under this act with the identifying tag of [SYRIA-CAESAR]. 

Entities designated under E.O. 13338, E.O. 13399, E.O. 13460, E.O. 13572, E.O. 13573, or E.O. 13582 are identified by the tag go [SYRIA] on the SDN list and there are hundreds of them on the list. 

Syrian Sanctions Regulations is codified under 31 C.F.R. 542

Finally, note that Syria (along with Iran, North Korea, and Sudan) is designated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. being designated as such results in restrictions like restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions. 

Syria-related Sanctions 

In addition to the Syrian sanctions program (described above), there is a Syria related sanctions program as well as Syria sanctions program.


Following the military activities of the Turkish army in northeast of Syria in October 2019, the United States President issued E.O. 13894 establishing a new sanctions regimes against those whose actions or policies threaten the peace, security, stability, or territorial integrity of Syria, among other things. 

The new sanction program has financial sanctions (asset freezing obligations) as well as secondary sanctions in its arsenal. The secondary sanctions in this program could be chosen from a menu of sanctions available to the Secretary of State (in consultation with Secretary of the Treasury) and could range from restrictions on the provision of loans and other financial services to a denial of U.S. government contracts, a loss of U.S. import privileges or a full blocking of assets in the United States. 

Initially the U.S. Treasury designated two Ministries and three senior officials of Turkey on October 14, 2019. However, few days later and in light of the developments in the region affected they were all delisted.  Persons listed under this program which is distinguished by the tag of ​[SYRIA-EO13894​]. OFAC designated a number of Syrian officials under this program on July 29, 2020. 

The regulations concerning this program is codified in 31 CFR 569. 

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