Syrian Regime Opponents in Washington Await Disclosure of Assad Family’s Wealth – Asharq Al-awsat – English

US political circles are awaiting the implementation by US President Joe Biden’s administration of a law on disclosing the sources of the wealth of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, his family, and his inner circle.

The bill, which was approved by Congress at the end of 2021, is considered by Syrian regime opponents in Washington a “legal victory for the revolution and the interests of the people.”

Claudia Tenny, a Republican Representative from New York who is active in Syrian issues, was the godmother of this law, which she initially presented as a draft before the House of Representatives.

The law was attached to the budget of the Department of Defense for the fiscal year 2022, and was endorsed by an “overwhelming majority”, in the US House and the Senate.

The bill passed by Congress requires the disclosure of the sources of the wealth of President al-Assad, his family, as well as his inner circle, and requests the US federal agencies to submit a relevant detailed report to the House of Representatives.

According to the law, the period for implementing such request is 90 days from the date of its issuance.

Thus, Syrian regime opponents considered that the US administration “has now become legally bound to publish this report next week.” They described the development as an “American legislative victory against the Assad regime, and in the interest of the Syrian revolution and the popular opposition, which has long pushed the US legislative and executive institutions to adopt more severe measures against the Syrian regime.”

The law requires the US administration to work on an interagency strategy to determine the priorities of US policy in Syria.

The approved amendment No. 6507 stipulated the disclosure of “income from corrupt or illegal activities practiced by the Syrian regime.”

The legal amendment stressed interagency coordination to implement US sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and to monitor endemic corruption in order to ensure that funds are not directed to terrorist groups and malign activities.

Moreover, the legal amendment set out the elements to be included in the report and the US diplomatic strategy, including a description of the desired diplomatic goals to advance US national interests in Syria, and the desired objectives, as well as a presentation of intended US diplomacy there.

Over the past decade, the US political arena has witnessed a state of “tug-of-war” between the legislative and executive institutions, which started during the tenure of former President Barack Obama and ended with the overwhelming approval of Congress on the Caesar Act, which charted US policy in dealing with the Syrian file.

Legislators in Congress are strongly opposed to Biden’s administration leniency towards the Syrian …….