Canada Expands Sanctions Against Assad Regime

March 30, 2012 - Canada is imposing its seventh round of sanctions against the brutal Assad regime in Syria by placing tough new restrictions on 12 individuals and two entities.

In imposing these latest sanctions, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird also issued the following statement:

“These latest sanctions target in particular those who profit from their association with the regime and those closest to Assad, including his wife Asma. Assad’s family may be kept shielded from the misery of the average Syrian, but they will not be immune from international will.

“Assad and his backers have failed to deliver on multiple promises for peace and restraint. Instead, they continue to choose repression and force. 

“Canada’s position is clear: Assad must go.

“We will continue to work with our international partners to pave the way for a brighter day for the Syrian people—a Syria that respects the fundamental rights of all its people.”

Minister Baird is travelling to Istanbul, Turkey, for the April 1, 2012, Friends of Syria meeting.

For more information, please visit Regulations Amending the Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations.

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A backgrounder follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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Backgrounder - Additional Sanctions on Syria

Effective immediately, the additional individuals and entities announced today, and named below, will be subject to an assets freeze and a prohibition on economic dealings. With these new measures, the total number of designations rises from 115 to 127 individuals and from 39 to 41 entities.

Additional individuals:

  • Anisa Al-Assad (also known as Anisah Al Assad)
  • Bushra Al-Assad (also known as Bushra Shawkat)
  • Asma Al-Assad (also known as Asma Fawaz Al Akhras)
  • Manal Al-Assad (also known as Manal Al Ahmad)
  • Imad Mohammad Deeb Khamis
  • Omar Ibrahim Ghalawanji
  • Joseph Suwaid
  • Ghiath Jeraatli
  • Hussein Mahmoud Farzat
  • Yousef Suleiman Al-Ahmad
  • Hassan Al-Sari
  • Mazen Al-Tabba

Additional entities:

  • Syrian Petroleum Company
  • Mahrukat Company (also known as the Syrian Company for the Storage and Distribution of Petroleum Products)

For more information on Canada’s sanctions against Syria, please see Syria.


On May 24, 2011, Canada announced targeted sanctions against the Syrian regime in response to the ongoing violent crackdown by Syrian military and security forces against Syrians peacefully protesting for democracy and human rights. These measures, which remain in place, were a blend of administrative measures and actions taken under the authority of the Special Economic Measures Act and were consistent with initiatives taken by like-minded partners, including the United States and the European Union. They included:

  1. Travel restrictions: Canada ensured that persons associated with the Syrian government who are believed to be inadmissible to Canada are prevented from travelling to Canada.
  2. Asset freeze: Canada imposed an asset freeze against 25 people associated with the current Syrian regime and seven entities involved in security and military operations against the Syrian people. This included a prohibition on dealing in the property of listed individuals and entities, including the provision of financial services and making property available to individuals and entities.
  3. A ban on specific exports and imports: Canada placed a ban under the Export and Import Permits Act on the export from Canada to Syria of goods and technologies that are subject to export controls. These items include arms, munitions and military, nuclear and strategic items that are intended for use by the Syrian armed forces, police or other governmental agencies.
  4. A suspension of all bilateral cooperation agreements and initiatives with Syria.

A news release announcing the May 24 sanctions can be found at PM announces sanctions on Syria.

On August 13, 2011, Canada expanded sanctions by imposing the asset freeze and travel restrictions on four additional individuals and two additional entities associated with the Syrian regime.

For more information on the August 13 announcement, please visit Statement by Minister Baird on Situation in Syria.

On October 4, 2011, Canada imposed the following additional measures:

  1. An asset freeze and travel restrictions on 27 additional individuals and 12 additional entities associated with the Assad regime;
  2. A prohibition on the importation, purchase or transportation of petroleum or petroleum products from Syria;
  3. A prohibition on new investment in the Syrian oil sector;
  4. A prohibition on the provision or acquisition of financial services for the purpose of facilitating the importation, purchase or transportation of Syrian petroleum or petroleum products; and
  5. A prohibition on the provision or acquisition of financial services for the purpose of investing in the Syrian oil sector.

For more information on the October 4 announcement, please visit Canada Expands Sanctions Against Syria.

On December 23, 2011, Canada further expanded its sanctions against the Syrian regime. Those measures prohibit all imports, with the exception of food, from Syria; all new investment in Syria; and the export to Syria of equipment, including software, for the monitoring of telephone and Internet communications. Canada also imposed an assets freeze and prohibited economic dealings with 33 additional individuals and 10 additional entities associated with the Assad regime.

For information on the December 23 announcement, please visit Canada Further Expands Sanctions Against Syria.

On January 25, 2012, Canada expanded its sanctions by adding the names of 22 individuals and seven entities associated with the Assad regime to its list of designated persons.

For information on the January 25 announcement, please visit Canada Further Expands Sanctions Against Syria.

On March 5, 2012, Canada further expanded its sanctions by introducing a complete ban on the provision or acquisition of financial or other related services to, from, or for the benefit of, or on the direction or order of, Syria or any person in Syria. Canada also added the names of seven individuals—all senior members of the Assad regime—and the Central Bank of Syria to the list of those subject to a dealings prohibition and asset freeze.

For information on the March 5 announcement, please visit Canada Further Expands Sanctions Against Syria.

The measures announced are consistent with Canada’s foreign policy priority to promote freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law around the world. Canada stands with the Syrian people in their calls for a brighter future for Syria.

On March 30, 2012, Canada further expanded its sanctions by adding additional names.

On February 24, 2012, Minister Baird announced at the Friends of Syria meeting in Tunis that Canada would provide a further $1.5 million to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people.

On March 12, 2012, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced Canada is supporting emergency humanitarian assistance in Syria.

CIDA’s support of up to $7.5 million, which includes previously announced Government of Canada funding, will help meet the most pressing needs arising from the crisis. Access to medical services, safe water and food are critical for communities caught in the crossfire of the conflict. Support to the thousands of internally displaced people and refugees who have fled the fighting also remains a priority.