The US Republican Studies Committee (RSC) presented a draft bill to the House of Representatives to impose additional sanctions with respect to Syria entitled “Stop the Killing in Syria Act 2020.”
The bill includes a proposal to prevent normalization with the regime, headed by President Bashar al-Assad, and to establish free economic zones in opposition areas.
The Syrian website “all4Syria” reported that 150 conservative members presented the draft in Congress.
The bill includes a description of how economic sanctions can be utilized and enhanced to prevent funding of and normalization with the Assad regime especially with regards to senior officials, and business entities of Arab countries that diplomatically recognize the regime.
It also states that sanctions should be imposed with respect to directors, officers, and other officials employed in Syrian prisons and detention facilities determined to be engaged in the use of torture.
The legislation included a wider range of penalties than those mentioned in “Caesar Act”, which was implemented in mid-June and imposed penalties on about a hundred Syrian officials.
It called for a report that determines crimes against humanity, genocide, and war crimes committed in Syria.
It also requested assigning a congressional committee to submit a report that assesses the potential effectiveness, risks, and operational requirements of the establishment and maintenance of a no-fly zone over part or all of Syria.
According to “all4Syria”, the draft called for a report on the net worth of Assad, as well as a strategy for removing him from power and achieving a transition to a free and democratic Syria.
In addition, the legislation called for a report on the effect of lifting Iran sanctions on war crimes in Syria, and the prohibition of any future administration to recognize Assad as the President and preventing him from running again.
Rather than authorizing foreign assistance, the bill supports the democratic movement of the Syrian people by creating Free Syria Economic Zones in areas outside of the Assad regime, which would allow the exportation of duty-free imports of goods from those regions and waive the application of sanctions.
A bill needs the approval of the House and Senate and the approval of the next president.