US imposes visa sanction on Syrian army official over bloodbath that killed at the very least 41 unarmed civilians | CNN Politics


The US State Division on Monday imposed a visa sanction on a Syrian army official whom it says killed at the very least 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 the US, Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned in a press release.

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 unbiased researchers.”

“At present, 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 international locations have renewed at the very least some degree of contact instantly 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 continued killing and abuse of numerous Syrians, serves as a sobering reminder for why international locations shouldn’t normalize relations with the Assad regime absent enduring progress in direction of a political decision,” Blinken mentioned.

“America 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 in opposition to humanity.”

In an April 2022 article revealed in “New Strains Journal,” the 2 researchers who helped expose the bloodbath mentioned that the movies, which have been “already stunning for his or her atrociousness, stand out of their brevity and callousness among the many 1000’s of hours of footage that we’ve got examined all through our respective careers as researchers of mass violence and genocide in Syria and elsewhere.”

“Significantly stunning concerning the Tadamon movies is the truth that the intelligence officers who dedicated the bloodbath have been on obligation 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 in the course of the video, they regarded 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 happy with my deeds.’”

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