US sanctions 271 in Syrian chemical attack

Donald Trump, Haider al-Abadi
FILE - In this Tuesday, March 28, 2017, file photo, President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with the Fraternal Order of Police, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Trump says that the United States is prepared to act alone if China does not take a tougher stand against North Korea’s nuclear program. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) —The United States has issued 271 sanctions in response to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons. It’s one of the largest sanction actions in U.S. history.

The Trump administration said Monday that it issued sanctions against 271 employees of Syria’s Scientific Studies and Research Center, the Syrian government agency responsible for developing and producing non-conventional weapons.

The action was announced in a statement by the Treasury Department, and Treasury Security Steve Mnuchin simultaneously briefed reporters at the White House.

The new sanctions are the latest U.S. response to Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons, most recently in rebel-held northern Idlib, in an attack that killed more than 80 civilians.

The U.S. retaliated earlier this month by launching missiles against a Syrian airfield.