Statement by Minister Baird on Situation in Syria

(No. 228 - August 13, 2011 - 2:20 p.m. ET) John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister, today issued the following statement on the situation in Syria:

“Canada reiterates its strong condemnation of the ongoing violent military assault by the Assad regime against the Syrian people.

“The Assad regime has lost all legitimacy by killing Syrian men, women and children to stay in power. This campaign of terror must stop.

“As part of our commitment to work with like-minded international partners to isolate the Assad regime, Canada is taking measures to extend its existing sanctions against the regime and its backers. We have frozen the assets of additional individuals and entities and moved to prevent those supporting the abhorrent behaviour of the Assad regime from travelling to Canada.

“As with the sanctions announced on May 24, 2011, the measures announced today directly target members of the current Syrian regime and those who provide it with support. They are not intended to cause harm to the Syrian people.

“Canada supports the efforts of the Syrian people to secure freedom and democracy and looks forward to a new Syria that respects the rights of all of the people and lives in peace with its neighbours.”

View the video.

- 30 -

A backgrounder follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI

Backgrounder - Syria Sanctions

Effective immediately, Canada is expanding sanctions by seeking to freeze the assets of four additional individuals and two additional entities associated with the Syrian government, and to ensure that those people believed to be inadmissible to Canada are prevented from travelling to Canada.

The names of the additional individuals and entities targeted by Canadian sanctions are as follows:‬


  1. Mohammad Mufleh
  2. Major General Tawfiq Younes
  3. Mohammed Makhlouf
  4. Ayman Jabir


  1. Commercial Bank of Syria
  2. Syriatel


On May 24, 2011, Canada announced targeted sanctions against the Syrian regime and some designated individuals and entities 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 are a blend of administrative measures and actions taken under the authority of the Special Economic Measures Act, are consistent with initiatives taken by like-minded states, including the United States and the European Union.

Canadian measures

  1. A travel ban: Canada will ensure that persons associated with the Syrian government who are believed to be inadmissible to Canada are prevented from travelling to Canada.
  2. An asset freeze: Canada will impose an asset freeze against people associated with the current Syrian regime and entities involved in security and military operations against the Syrian people.
  3. A ban on specific exports and imports: Canada will place a ban under the Export and Import Permits Act on the export from Canada to Syria of goods and technology 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. Suspension of all bilateral cooperation agreements and initiatives with 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 reform and a brighter, better future for Syria.

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