Britain on Monday announced it would sanction six of Bashar Assad's allies, including the regime's foreign minister and close advisers, for "repressing the Syrian people."
"Today, we are holding six more individuals from the regime to account for their wholesale assault on the very citizens they should be protecting," British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. "The Assad regime has subjected the Syrian people to a decade of brutality for the temerity of demanding peaceful reform."
According to Reuters, those sanctioned include the regime's Foreign Minister Faisal Miqdad, Assad adviser Luna al-Shibl, financier Yassar Ibrahim, businessperson Muhammad Bara’ Al-Qatirji, Republican Guard commander Malik Aliaa and Army Major Zaid Salah.
In mid-March, 2011, peaceful pro-democracy protests developed into a multi-sided conflict that sucked in world powers, killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions more.
The overall death toll in Syria's civil war has reached 388,652 since it began a decade ago this month, a war monitor said Sunday. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the figures include almost 117,388 civilians, among them more than 22,000 children.
Attacks by the Syrian regime and allied militia forces accounted for the majority of civilian deaths, said the Britain-based monitor, which relies on sources inside Syria for its reports. The Observatory's previous tally was issued in December and stood at more than 387,000.
The Observatory also documented at least 16,000 deaths in regime prisons and detention centers since the conflict erupted in 2011 after the brutal repression of anti-regime protests. It said, however, that the real number was likely higher because its tally does not include 88,000 people believed to have died while being tortured in regime prisons.
Today, the Damascus regime controls more than 60% of Syria after a string of Russia-backed victories against the opposition conducted since 2015. Among the regions still beyond its reach are the last opposition stronghold of Idlib in the northwest, Turkish-held areas along the northern border and northeastern parts of the country held by U.S.-backed YPG terrorists, the Syrian wing of the PKK terrorist group. The war has forced more than half the country's pre-war population to flee their homes. Some 200,000 people have gone missing, according to the war monitor.
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