DAMASCUS, June 18 (Xinhua) -- The new set of U.S. sanctions under the so-called Caesar Act aims to change the behavior of the Syrian government, not the downfall of the administration of President Bashar al-Assad, an expert said.
On Wednesday, the United States announced massive sanctions against Syria, in an effort to further deprive the revenue of the Syrian government.
The latest sanctions involve 39 individuals and entities including President al-Assad and his wife, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in a statement.
Pompeo alleged that designated people and companies "played a key role in obstructing a peaceful political solution to the conflict."
"Anyone doing business with the Assad regime, no matter where in the world they are, is potentially exposed to travel restrictions and financial sanctions," the statement said.
The statement noted that Wednesday's action was the beginning of a sustained campaign of economic and political pressure against Syria.
Maher Ihsan, a political expert, told Xinhua that the sanctions aim to twist the arm of the Syrian government into accepting the conditions of the U.S. administration.
"They are trying to economically squeeze the government to achieve what they couldn't do through war," he said.
The new U.S. measures come with an "option key" that is left for the Syrian government in case it wants the sanctions removed.
Section 401 of the Caesar Bill outlines six requirements to lift U.S. sanctions on Syria such as ending the alleged aircraft bombing of civilians.
Also, it says Iranian, Syrian and Russian forces should no longer restrict humanitarian access to besieged areas, and should allow civilians to leave freely.
The sanction also includes the release of all political prisoners, and giving the appropriate international human rights organizations full access to Syria's prisons and detention facilities.
It also stipulates a halt of the alleged bombing of "medical facilities, schools, residential areas, and community gathering places, including markets."
It urges for achieving the possibility for the "safe, voluntary, and dignified return of Syrians displaced by the conflict."
The last condition is holding perpetrators of "war crimes" in Syria accountable and bringing justice for victims of war crimes.
However, Syria has been denying all allegations made by the United States and its allies, saying that the United States is practicing "economic terrorism."
Ihsan said that the new sanctions and the conditions to lift them are like an offer made to the Syrian government to accept the U.S. conditions that are far from the conditions laid out in the Caesar Act.
"It's obvious that the U.S. wants the Assad administration to accept a solution based on the U.S. desires, which explains the recent sanctions," he said, adding that "it's no secret that the U.S. main demand is the withdrawal of the Iranian forces and their allies from Syria."
He added that "those who make offers, don't intend to bring down the government, but to change its behavior into something accepted by the U.S."
Still, Ihsan said that the Syrian people will be the most affected by the new sanctions as they are already reeling under economic pressure with the soaring prices and the devaluation of the Syrian currency.
He said that the Syria government is not expected to succumb under pressure but to face the U.S. hegemony with strength through the help of its allies.
Meanwhile, Ahmad al-Ashqar, another expert, said that imposing new sanctions is another page of the war against Syria.
"The first page was bombings and explosions while this page is the page of economic war," he said.
He said the sanctions are just a continuation of the old sanctions, adding that the currency will be further affected as well as other aspects of life such as on the medical sector and medicine.
Still, al-Ashqar said in order to overcome the economic hardship, the political solution must be found and implemented to bring an end to the chaotic situation.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, Ammar Youssef, an economic expert, said that the Syrian government should turn to self-reliance to overcome the sanctions by utilizing the natural resources in the country.