Treasury hits firms tied to Syrian regime

McClatchy Washington BureauJuly 9, 2014 

— Ratcheting up pressure on the Syrian government, the U.S. Treasury Department Wednesday announced sanctions against two Syrian firms and one in the United Arab Emirates that are allegedly linked to the regime’s weapons programs.

The companies blacklisted by Treasury, which makes them international pariahs, include Expert Partners and Megatrade in Syria. They allegedly operated as front companies for the Scientific Studies and Research Center, the Syrian government agency that develops and produces non-conventional weapons, and were said to have helped develop chemical and biological weapons.

Also targeted by Treasury was the Pangates International Corporation Ltd., of the United Arab Emirates. The U.S. government alleges that from 2012 to April 2014, Pangates provided material support in goods and services to the Syrian regime via business with the Syrian state oil company known by the acronym SYTROL. The goods shipped to Syria in violation of sanctions included gearbox and turbine oil, marine engine oil, fuel additives and even aviation fuel.

Syria’s state oil company and the research company had already been sanctioned previously by both the United States and the European Union.

Email: khall@mcclatchydc.com; Twitter: @KevinGHall.

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