US imposes WMD sanctions on Syrian tech company

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The Obama administration imposed sanctions Thursday on a Syrian tech company it accused of helping Syria's ballistic missile program.

The Organization for Technological Industries' primary mission is importing advanced strategic technologies for surface-to-surface missile and rocket programs in Syria, the State Department said in a statement. The new sanctions ban Americans from doing business with the company and freeze any assets it had in the United States.

The action follows the findings of a U.N.-authorized investigation into chemical weapons attacks in Syria. It concluded that Syrian President Bashar Assad's government conducted two chlorine gas attacks. Those occurred after a much deadlier sarin gas attack in the Damascus suburbs in 2013 that the U.S. and Western countries blamed on Assad's forces.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the country's nearly six-year-old civil war.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons," Ned Price, spokesman for President Barack Obama's National Security Council, said. "The Assad regime's barbaric continued attacks demonstrate its willingness to defy basic standards of human decency, its international obligations and longstanding global norms."

The State Department said the sanctions target "the assets of WMD proliferators and their supporters in an effort to curb the spread of WMD and protect the U.S. financial system from being exploited by proliferators."