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Maher Al-Assad | Foundation for Defense of Democracies
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Maher Al-Assad

Position: Brigade Commander in the Syrian Army’s Fourth Armored Division; Head of Presidential and Republican Guards

Sanctions: US (April 29, 2011) & EU (May 9, 2011)

The United States sanctioned Maher Assad, the younger brother of President Assad, on April 29, 2011, for his involvement with respect to human rights abuses in Syria. Maher Assad commands the Syrian Army’s Fourth Armored Division, the Presidential Guard, and the Republican Guard. These units, along with the Syrian secret police, make up the country’s core security forces, which have been accused of committing broad human rights abuses during the Syrian uprising.[1]

According to Al Arabiya, Maher’s Fourth Armored Division was tasked with “crushing the uprising.”[2]

The EU described Maher as the “principal overseer of violence against demonstrators” in Syria.[3]


[1]“Executive Order 13572: Blocking Property of Certain Persons With Respect to Human Rights Abuses in Syria,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, April 29, 2011. (http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/13572.pdf)

[2]Ali Younes, “Obama Is not Committed to Military Intervention in Syria, Yet,” Al Arabiya, March 27, 2012. (http://english.alarabiya.net/views/2012/03/27/203484.html)

[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. 136/92. (http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2011:136:0091:0094:EN:PDF)