The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) today issued Syrian General License (GL) 22, authorizing specific economic activities in certain non-regime-controlled areas in the northeast and northeast. western Syria. This new authorization supports the Biden administration’s strategy to defeat ISIS by promoting economic stabilization in areas liberated from the terror group’s control. This follows the D-ISIS Ministerial meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, where the United States announced nearly $110 million in stabilization funds for areas liberated from ISIS in Iraq and Syria and highlighted the importance of continued Coalition efforts to erode support for violent extremism. through initiatives to improve stability. The clearance does not allow any activity with the Syrian government or other sanctioned persons.
Stabilization efforts – including restoring essential services, strengthening livelihoods to help Syrians return to normal lives, and supporting returnees from displacement and the communities receiving them – are essential to our Defeat-ISIS strategy. Syria GL 22 complements these efforts by allowing activities in the following economic sectors in specific areas not controlled by Syria’s regime: agriculture; information and telecommunications; power grid infrastructure; construction; finance; clean energy; transport and storage; 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 a resurgence of ISIS by combating the conditions that enable its recruitment efforts and support networks.
This clearance does not indicate any change in the administration’s policy toward the Assad regime. The United States is not lifting or rescinding the sanctions imposed on the Assad regime and its cronies, as we continue to press for accountability in Syria. We are also not lifting sanctions on designated terrorist organizations. The administration will not normalize relations with the Assad regime and will not support the normalization of relations until there is irreversible progress towards a political resolution of the conflict in accordance with UNSCR 2254. We have not seen such progress. We continue to oppose reconstruction directed by or for the benefit of the regime.