Ottawa: Canada has sanctioned 27 high-ranking officials in the Syrian Government to put pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to end ‘indiscriminate’ violence in the war-torn country.
According to the Toronto Star, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement that those people are now subject to an asset freeze and dealings prohibition.
Calling for meaningful negotiations, Freeland added the move is a part of international pressure on the Assad regime to end indiscriminate violence against their own people like this month’s chemical weapons attack.
Earlier, Freeland urged Russia, a longtime Assad ally, to break with the Syrian President and help broker his departure in order to establish a lasting peace.
Freeland further said the new sanctions against key officials are part of Canada’s continued efforts to pressure the Assad regime to stop the violence against innocent children, women and men.
The statement issued on Friday said Canada is contributing to investigations on the use of chemical weapons and the collection of evidence to support the prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria.
“Last week’s chemical weapons attack in southern Idlib is a war crime and is unacceptable. Canada is working with its allies to end the war in Syria and hold those responsible to account,” she said.
The Syrian regime faced global ire over an alleged chemical attack in rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun which killed 87 people including many children.
The Syrian Government has, however, denied involvement in the toxic attack and blamed rebel groups. Russia has also backed Syrian claims.
Denouncing the chemical attack, U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a strike that saw 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles destroy the airbase in central Syria.
It was the first direct U.S. military action against Assad’s forces since the start of Syria’s civil war six years ago and led to a quick downward spiral in ties between Washington and Moscow.
Russia accused the United States of breaking international law with the strike against Syria. (ANI)