The US State Division on Monday imposed a visa sanction on a Syrian army official whom it says killed a minimum of 41 unarmed civilians in a neighborhood of Damascus in April 2013.
Amjad Yousef, a army intelligence officer for the regime of Syrian chief Bashar al-Assad, and his instant household shall be blocked from getting into america, Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned in an announcement.
Video proof of the bloodbath in Tadamon, which Blinken described as being “carried out coldly and methodically,” publicly emerged in 2022 “after a protracted and complete investigation by impartial researchers.”
“Right this moment, we’re taking motion to advertise accountability for this atrocity,” the highest US diplomat mentioned.
The announcement of the visa restriction comes as a rising variety of nations have renewed a minimum of some degree of contact straight with the Assad regime, significantly within the wake of final month’s devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
“The footage of this bloodbath, coupled with the continuing killing and abuse of numerous Syrians, serves as a sobering reminder for why nations mustn’t normalize relations with the Assad regime absent enduring progress in the direction of a political decision,” Blinken mentioned.
“The US calls on the Assad regime to stop all violations and abuses of human rights, together with however not restricted to extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, and torture,” he mentioned.
Blinken famous that March “marks the twelfth yr of battle in Syria throughout which the Assad regime has dedicated innumerable atrocities, a few of which rise to the extent of conflict crimes and crimes towards humanity.”
In an April 2022 article printed in “New Traces Journal,” the 2 researchers who helped expose the bloodbath mentioned that the movies, which had been “already surprising for his or her atrociousness, stand out of their brevity and callousness among the many hundreds of hours of footage that now we have examined all through our respective careers as researchers of mass violence and genocide in Syria and elsewhere.”
“Notably surprising concerning the Tadamon movies is the truth that the intelligence officers who dedicated the bloodbath had been on responsibility and in uniform; they report back to President Bashar al-Assad himself, and but they selected to point out their faces within the incriminating footage. At a number of factors throughout the video, they appeared straight into the digicam seemingly relaxed and smiling. In documenting their very own actions, they used HD video high quality,” Annsar Shahhoud and Uğur Ümit Üngör wrote.
Yousef, the official who was sanctioned by the State Division Tuesday, “is targeted, stoic and exact, and he works effectively towards finishing the duty inside a matter of 25 minutes,” the researchers wrote.
“After a couple of months, we confronted him with the bloodbath and let him know that we had seen the footage,” the researchers described.
“First, he denied it was him within the video. Then, he mentioned he was simply arresting somebody,” they wrote. “Lastly, he settled on the justification that it was his job and expressed his content material: ‘I’m pleased with my deeds.’”