The Treasury Department announced Wednesday, May 30, that it would sanction a key Syrian bank, casting that action as the latest step in a broad international effort to isolate Bashar Assad’s regime, The Hill
reported. Treasury says that the Syria International Islamic Bank has been acting as a front for the Commercial Bank of Syria, the country’s largest bank, as it tries to skirt sanctions from the United States, the European Union and the Arab League. The newest U.S. sanctions come just days after scores of Syrian civilians were killed in Houla, an incident that led the Obama administration and other governments around the world to expel diplomats from Damascus. David Cohen, Treasury’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said Wednesday that the sanctions were taking a toll on Syria that was mounting by the day.