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US imposes new sanctions on Syria over suspected chemical attack

The United States has blacklisted 271 employees of the Syrian research center

WASHINGTON, April 24. /TASS/. The US sanctioned on Monday 271 employees of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center in connection with an alleged use of chemical weapons Khan Sheikhoun (Idlib province), the US Department of the Treasury said.

"These 271 SSRC employees have expertise in chemistry and related disciplines and/or have worked in support of SSRC’s chemical weapons program since at least 2012," the press center reported.

The statement qualified Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), as "the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons and the means to deliver them".

The report also quoted Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaking on the decision. "The United States is sending a strong message with this action that we will hold the entire Assad regime accountable for these blatant human rights violations in order to deter the spread of these types of barbaric chemical weapons," the treasury secretary said.

He said "we... will relentlessly pursue and shut down the financial networks of all individuals involved with the production of chemical weapons used to commit these atrocities".

The incident at Khan Sheikhoun occurred on April 4. According to the data of Russia’s Defense Ministry, Syrian warplanes struck terrorists’ workshops that were producing chemical agents. Washington accused Damascus of using chemical weapons, after which the US Navy delivered a missile attack overnight to April 7 on Syria’s Shayrat airfield in the province of Homs.