DISINFO: Sanctions on Syria are illegal
European Union Sanctions Syrian War

DISINFO: Sanctions on Syria are illegal


Sanctions against Syria – whether from European countries or the United States – are illegal.


In 2005, by UNSC Resolution 1636, the UN Security Council imposed travel bans and asset freezes on people suspected of being involved in the 14 February 2005 terrorist bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, in which Syria was implicated by a UN report.

The EU implemented those measures by adopting Council Common Position 2005/888/CFSP and Council Regulation (EC) No 305/2006.

More sanctions were imposed in response to the Syrian government’s support of international terrorism and violations against democratic and human rights in the country after the war began in 2011, and have been strengthened several times due to escalating violence in the region.

On 27 May 2013, the Council of the EU adopted conclusions in which it condemned the violence and the continued widespread and systematic gross violations of human rights in Syria, the massacres committed by the Syrian armed forces and its militias, all instances of hostage-taking of peacekeepers, and the atrocities committed by the Syrian regime. It expressed concern for military operations conducted by the regime and its supporters, as well as the rise of religiously or ethnically motivated violence. In view of the seriousness of the situation, on 31 May 2013, the Council of the EU adopted restrictive measures against Syria in numerous fields.

The latest extension of the EU sanctions regime against Syria was adopted in May 2019 for one year. EU sanctions are targeted at the Syrian regime and its policies. The sanctions include an oil embargo, restrictions on certain investments, a freeze of the assets of the Syrian central bank held in the EU, export restrictions on equipment and technology that might be used for internal repression as well as on equipment and technology for the monitoring or interception of internet or telephone communications.


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Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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