Fearing US sanctions, Lebanon closes accounts of Syrians linked to Assad regime

Lebanese banks have closed hundreds of accounts of Syrians linked to the Assad regime in an effort to avoid US sanctions related to the Caesar Act, Aram Media reported yesterday.

The news site said that the Lebanese banks closed the accounts of Syrians who conducted any financial activity with people linked to the Assad regime after or before the Caesar Act was brought into force on 17 June.

The American legislation sanctions the Syrian government, including President Bashar Al-Assad, for war crimes against the Syrian population. It also targets those supporting the regime or benefiting from it by helping rebuild areas under its control.

US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Levant Affairs and Special Envoy for Syria, Joel Rayburn, warned Lebanon over allowing the Assad regime to benefit from its banks through money laundering.

He stressed that Lebanon could be subject to sanctions if it violates the terms of the act.

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