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Zuhayr Shalish

Position: Head of Presidential Security

Sanctions: US (March 30, 2012) & EU (June 23, 2011)

The United States government sanctioned Shalish on March 30, 2012, for his position as a senior Syrian government official.[1] Shalish is a cousin of President Assad and previously acted as his bodyguard.[2] In 2005, the US government accused Shalish of providing Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq with military goods, and he allegedly had close ties with Hussein’s eldest son, Uday.[3]

The European Union also brought sanctions against Shalish on June 23, 2011, citing his involvement in violence against Syrian protesters and continued support for the Syrian regime.[4]

[1]Office of Foreign Assets Control, “Designation of Three Individuals Pursuant to Executive Order 13573 of May 18, 2011: Blocking Property of Senior Officials of the Government of Syria,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, April 5, 2012.                                                        (

[2]“Treasury Designates Syrian Government Officials,” U.S. Department of the Treasury, March 30, 2012.                                                                   (

[3]“Bashar Al-Assad’s Inner Circle,” BBC News, May 18, 2011. (

[4]The Council of the European Union, “Council Implementing Decision 611/2011 of 23 June 2011 Implementing Legislation (EU) No442/2011 Concerning Restrictive Measures in View of the Situation in Syria,” Official Journal of the European Union, June 23, 2011.                                       (