US blacklists UAE company for helping Syrian regime
Bashar al-Assad - REUTERS

WASHINGTON:  The U.S. Treasury placed a United Arab Emirates company on its sanctions blacklist Wednesday for selling specialty oil products to the Syrian government.

Boosting the pressure on the regime of Bashar al-Assad, the Treasury at the same time named for sanctions two alleged front companies for Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC).

The United States says the SSRC is responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and ballistic missiles for Assad’s forces.

The Treasury said Pangates International Corporation, based in the UAE’s Sharjah Airport International Free Zone, had delivered aviation fuel and fuel additives to Sytrol, the Syrian state oil company already under U.S. sanctions, during 2012.

The Treasury said that although the products sold by Pangates have both civilian and military uses, “they have limited civilian application in Syria.”

The two other companies blacklisted, Expert Partners and Megatrade, were used by the SSRC to procure material that can be used in Syria’s chemical and biological warfare programs, and also materials for use in its ballistic missile program, the Treasury said.

“The Syrian government’s continued violence against its own people is abhorrent,” Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen said in a statement.

“Alongside other (U.S.) administration efforts, we remain committed to applying economic and financial pressure on those providing support to the Assad regime.”

The sanctions freeze any assets those named might have in U.S. jurisdictions, and bans Americans from any business with them.

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