Canada announces new sanctions against Syrian leadership with links to chemical weapons

News Release

April 21, 2017 - Ottawa, Canada - Global Affairs Canada

Canada is deeply committed to supporting the Syrian people and working with the international community to find solutions to end the war in Syria. Following last Thursday’s sanctions, the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada’s Special Economic Measures (Syria) Regulations have been further amended to list additional individuals and entities subject to an asset freeze and dealings prohibition.

The sanctions announced today affect 17 high-ranking individuals in the Assad regime and five entities linked to the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Adding these names to the sanctions list is part of additional international pressure on this regime to immediately stop the repeated and heinous attacks against its own people.

Canada has taken a number of important steps to push for greater accountability for Syrians, including by being a leading contributor to the international investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Canada will continue its efforts to support the Syrian people and to help resolve the crisis in Syria.


“Canada is working with its allies to put an end to the war in Syria and to hold those responsible to account. Today’s announcement of additional sanctions against key officials in the Syrian regime sends a strong, unified message to the Assad regime that their war crimes will not be tolerated and that they will be held accountable for their actions.”

- Hon. Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick Facts

  • Canada reviews its sanctions on an ongoing basis and takes action as appropriate. 

  • Canada has called for greater accountability and protection for civilians in Syria, including through Canada’s UN General Assembly resolution in December 2016, which garnered the support of 122 countries. Canada actively contributes to accountability efforts, including through its leading financial support for the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons–United Nations Joint Investigative Mechanism, which investigates the use of chemical weapons.

  • Canada also supports and funds the collection of evidence of war crimes in Syria through the Commission for International Justice and Accountability.

  • Canada is contributing more than $1.6 billion over the course of three years toward security, stabilization, and humanitarian and development assistance in response to the crises in Iraq and Syria and their impact on neighbouring countries.

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