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France freezes assets of 25 companies linked to Syrian chemical weapons

January 24, 2018 at 10:51 am

Syrians receive medical treatment after the Assad regime carried out a chemical gas attack in the de-conflict zone in Damascus, Syria on 20 July 2017 [Alaa Muhammed/Anadolu Agency]

France has frozen the assets of 25 companies and officials from Syria, Lebanon, France and China suspected of contributing to Syria’s chemical weapons programme, the French Official Gazette reported on Tuesday.

The sanctions come as Paris hosts a conference involving senior officials from 30 countries, including US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, to pursue those responsible for chemical attacks in Syria. The conference also aims to produce a response to Russia’s use of its veto against two resolutions on the matter in the UN Security Council.

The freeze targets officials and companies linked with the import and distribution of metals, electronics and lighting systems. The sanctions have not targeted any official in the Syrian regime.

“We do not have enough information to allow us to take this up to the level of the Syrian political authorities,” commented a French Foreign Ministry source.

Read: France pressured over detained fighters in Syria