The United States is applauding the European Union for imposing sanctions Monday on 16 Syrian senior military officials and scientists involved in chemical weapons attacks on civilians.
“The combined efforts of the United States and European Union … are part of a continuing effort in the international community to hold the Assad regime responsible for violating longstanding global norms against the use of chemical weapons,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
The 16 officials sanctioned Monday will be banned from traveling in the EU, and their European assets will be frozen.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called Monday’s actions by the EU ministers a very good agreement and said he is pleased the ministers could come together to focus on the issue.
The United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons are carrying out a joint investigation into the April sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhun in Syria which killed at least 87 people.
Video of the attack included pictures of children foaming at the mouth and struggling to breathe.
The U.S. blamed the Assad regime, prompting President Donald Trump to order an airstrike on the Syrian airbase from where the gas attack was apparently launched.
Syria denies responsibility for this and previous chemical weapons attacks on civilians, blaming them on what it calls terrorists — its word for the opposition.