The United Nations has stated that at least 2,700 have been killed in Syria since the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown on anti-government demonstrators began six months ago. In the midst of this ongoing violence, you have an opportunity to ensure that the United States is doing everything possible to support civilian protection. Right now, the Senate is considering legislation that would help to limit the Syrian regime’s access to critical financial resources.
Syria Sanctions Act of 2011
The Syria Sanctions Act (S.1472), introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand along with Senators Mark Kirk and Joe Lieberman, would impose restrictions related to the development, production, exportation, importation, and financing of Syria’s petroleum sector. Although U.S. companies are prohibited from engaging in oil-related business operations, European and other international firms have significant investments. The bill provides a series of penalties that can be applied to any international company that chooses to continue such activities. These penalties include prohibition by the U.S. Government on exports, financial assistance and federal government contracts, as well as the freezing of property and other assets within the country’s jurisdiction. Effectively, the legislation requires that—in order to do business in the United States and with the U.S. Government—foreign companies abide by same set of restrictions as American companies.
Oil trade is estimated to provide the Assad regime up to $8 million per day. With the Syrian economy flailing in the midst of violence, the oil sector serves as a problematic lifeline to a government perpetrating atrocities. Targeting this sector will stem the flow of enabling resources and send a clear signal to the regime that violence against civilians is unacceptable.
Call 1-800-GENOCIDE (1-800-436-6243) today. The call is free. When prompted, enter your zip code and choose option number two to be connected with the office of one of your two United States Senators. Once connected to the office, urge your Senator to co-sponsor the Syria Sanctions Act (S.1472).