By following up on the US sanctions and the authorized exemptions, the US strategy becomes clear in the continuous and long-term pressure on the Syrian regime and all associated entities and individuals. This happens in line with the continuous assessment of the effects and efficiency of these sanctions in addition to the side effects that affect wider circles of the regime beside some of non-associated entities; therefore, the US sanctions have been continuously excluded civil sectors that have direct effects on civilians.
The first license to authorise exceptions was issued in 2020 to provide foreign companies a window of opportunity to wind down transactions at a specific time. In this way these companies are not affected by the effects of their previous dealings with companies linked to the regime.
Then the second license came in 2021 in response to the exceptional circumstances that the world witnessed with the spread of the Corona epidemic. Although this license allowed the regime to benefit from some exceptions to the the public health sector and related sectors of medical supplies, it spared the US administration the responsibility for the aggravation of the humanitarian situation, whose the regime deliberately neglects in order to put pressure on civil society organizations.
The most important license among the US exeptions from sanctions is the third one that serves the general US strategy in isolating the regime and its regions' economics and achieving maximum pressure on it. The US administration, in fact, aims to create a different working environment in areas outside the regime’s control, as it aims to relatively weaken trade exchanges between the regime and the areas outside its control. Moreover. the American strategy intends to expand the possibility of trade exchanges between these areas, as well as lifting the pressure on regional and international actors supporting local actors in the areas outside the regime’s control. This might attract international investments in these areas.