The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today issued Syria General License (GL) 22, authorizing specific economic activities in certain non-regime-held areas of northeast and northwest Syria. This new authorization supports the Biden Administration’s strategy to defeat ISIS by promoting economic stabilization in areas liberated from the terrorist group’s control. It comes on the heels of the D-ISIS Ministerial in Marrakesh, Morocco, where the United States announced nearly $110 million in stabilization funds for areas liberated from ISIS in Iraq and Syria and stressed the importance of continued Coalition efforts to erode support for violent extremism through initiatives designed to improve stability. The authorization does not permit any activity with the Government of Syria or other sanctioned persons.
Stabilization efforts – including restoring essential services, bolstering livelihood opportunities to help Syrians return to normal life, and providing support for individuals returning from displacement as well as the communities receiving them – are critical components of our Defeat-ISIS strategy. Syria GL 22 complements these efforts by authorizing activities in the following economic sectors in specified non-regime-held areas of Syria: agriculture; information and telecommunications; power grid infrastructure; construction; finance; clean energy; transportation and warehousing; water and waste management; health services; education; manufacturing; and trade. Through Syria GL 22, increased commercial activity and investment in these areas will reduce the likelihood of ISIS’s resurgence by combatting the conditions that enable its recruitment efforts and its support networks.
This authorization does not indicate any shift in the Administration’s policy towards the Assad regime. The United States is not lifting or waiving sanctions imposed on the Assad regime and its cronies, as we continue to push for accountability in Syria. Neither are we lifting any sanctions imposed on designated terrorist organizations. The Administration will not normalize relations with the Assad regime and does not support others normalizing relations until there is irreversible progress toward a political resolution to the conflict in line with UNSCR 2254. We have not seen such progress. We continue to oppose reconstruction directed by or for the benefit of the regime.