WASHINGTON – Today, the Departments of the Treasury and State co-hosted a meeting of the International Working Group on Sanctions Targeting ISIL, al-Nusrah Front (ANF), and the Asad regime. This meeting gathered over 20 countries and organizations to discuss and identify opportunities to implement targeted measures to financially isolate these extremist groups and the Asad regime from the international financial system and to undermine their financial foundations.
Deliberations during today’s conference have led to a greater commitment to decrease the flow of funding and materiel to ISIL and ANF, and also to further degrade Asad’s access to resources.
As the President noted in his September 10 speech on ISIL and September 24 address to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly the United States is committed to degrading and ultimately defeating ISIL, including by cutting off its streams of revenue. This meeting is an important step in the effort to combat ISIL as we also work toward a negotiated political solution that ends the violence and addresses all dimensions of the conflict in Syria.
In an effort to achieve these goals, both ISIL and ANF have been designated under U.S. authorities, as well as internationally under the UN Security Council 1267/1289 (Al-Qa’ida) Sanctions Committee. Individual leaders and members have also been designated, including ISIL’s leader Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Ali al-Badri (aka Abu Dua) and ANF’s leader, Abu Muhammad al-Jawlani. The Departments of State and the Treasury will continue to use their authorities to impose sanctions on individuals or groups that commit or pose a significant risk of committing terrorist acts, including those affiliated with ISIL and ANF.
In an effort to further isolate the Asad regime, on October 16, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on a number of Syrian regime supporters and officials for facilitating the flow of finance and materiel to the Syrian regime and for being involved in the commission of human rights violations. The Syrian government played an important role in the growth of terrorist networks in Syria due to the Asad regime’s permissive attitude toward al-Qa’ida’s foreign fighter facilitation efforts during the Iraq conflict. Syria was a key hub for foreign fighters en route to Iraq, and the Syrian government’s encouragement of this transit by violent extremists is well-documented. Those very networks were the seedbed for the violent extremist elements now terrorizing the Syrian population.