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Bashar Al-Assad

Position: President of Syria

Sanctions: US (May 18, 2011) & EU (May 23, 2011)

The United States sanctioned President Bashar al-Assad on May 18, 2011, holding him responsible for the continuing violence in Syria, including “through attacks on protesters, arrests and harassment of protesters and political activists, and repression of democratic change.”[1]

In August 2011, President Obama explicitly called for Assad to resign following the mounting humanitarian crisis in Syria.[2]

The EU sanctioned al-Assad just five days later, on May 23, 2011, for “overseeing the violent crackdown on protesters.”[3]


[1]“Executive Order 13573: Blocking Property of Senior Officials of the Government of Syria,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, May 18, 2011. (

[2]Jeremy Sharp and Christopher Blanchard, “Syria: Unrest and U.S. Policy,” Congressional Research Service, May 24, 2012.        (

[3]The Council of the European Union, “Council Implementing Decision 2011/302/CFSP of 23 May 2011 Implementing Decision 2011/273/CFSP Concerning Restrictive Measures Against Syria,” Official Journal of the European Union, May 23, 2011, p. 92.                                               (