White Helmets rescuers treat victims of the Assad regime’s sarin attack on Khan Sheikhoun in northwest Syria, April 4, 2017

The US Treasury has announced sanctions on five senior officers over the Assad regime’s chemical attacks in Syria.

The Treasury cited two Air Force officers, Maj. Gen. Tawfiq Muhammad Khadour, currently in command of the 22nd Air Division, and Maj. Gen. Muhammad Youssef al-Hasouri, the commander of the 70th Brigade at the T-4 airbase in central Syria.

Khadour commanded the Air Force’s 30th Brigade at the Dumayr airbase in 2018 as chemical barrel bombs were dropped throughout the East Ghouta area near Damascus, and on April 7 when a chlorine attack on Douma killed 43 civilians in a residential building.

The attacks came during a Russian-regime offensive, killing thousands of civilians, to overrun East Ghouta. The day after the chlorine attack, Douma — the last city held by the opposition — surrendered.

See also Denying Syria’s Chemical Attacks, Attacking the Inspectors — The Douma Case

Hasouri was the deputy commander of the Air Force’s 50th Brigade at the Shayrat airbase, from which an April 4, 2017 sarin attack killed at least 87 people and wounded hundreds in Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib Province in northwest Syria.

See also How UN Concluded Assad Regime Carried Out Sarin Attack on Khan Sheikhoun

Hasouri has already been sanctioned by the European Union, but this is the first action against Khadour over the chemical attacks.

Sanctions Over Torture and Killings

The Treasury also blacklisted three security and intelligence officials whom it said are involved in the repression and torture of civilians.

Sanctions were imposed on Adeeb Namer Salameh, the Assistant Director of Syrian Air Force Intelligence, central in the abuse, detention, and killing of protesters and detainees; senior SAFI official Qahtan Khalil; and security official Kamal al-Hassan.

Salameh was previously head of SAFI’s Aleppo Branch, transforming armed gangs — “shabiha” — into a pro-Assad militia responsible for torture, killings, and kidnapping.

The general has also been implication in corruption, receiving large sums of money for protecting factories and appointing himself as a partner of major investors in Aleppo.

Khalil is among SAFI officers accused of direct responsibility for the massacre of 400 to 500 civilians in the Damascus suburb of Darayya from August 20 to 25, 2012.

Hassan is the commander of the security Branch 227, which oversaw the torture and killing of thousands of detainees. The case came to light in 2014 with the defection of military photographer “Caesar”, who brought out images of the victims.