Cham Wings airlines in Spain a few days after European sanctions against it
The Syrian private airlines company “Cham Wings” participated in an international tourism fair held in Spain, a few days after the European Union reimposed sanctions on it due to its transport of mercenaries and drugs in support of the Syrian regime.
The official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), on January 23, reported that the Ministry of Tourism will participate in the International Tourism Trade Fair “FITUR 2024” for the fourth consecutive time, which is held in the Spanish capital, Madrid, in its 44th edition.
The fair is considered one of the most important global and international tourism exhibitions in the world, and participation comes “with the aim of opening tourism markets to Syria and striving for its return to the international tourism map.”
The fair events started on January 24 and will continue until January 28.
The participation of Cham Wings airlines in the international fair was met with condemnation by Syrian activists, given that it came days after new European Union sanctions were imposed on it.
Cham Wings is considered the second air carrier in Syria and is owned by the Shammout Business Group. It was established in 2008 and was forced to stop operations at the beginning of 2012 due to economic sanctions on Syria, only to resume its flights in September 2014, which was the year it was adopted as a “Syrian national carrier”.
The director of the Syrian program at the Observatory of Political and Economic Networks, Karam Shaar, posted on his account on the “X” platform “Three days after its (re)sanctioning by the European Union for transferring mercenaries and narcotics in support of the Syrian regime, Cham Wings participates in a tourism fair in Spain.”
The economic academic added, “The enforcement of EU sanctions is the responsibility of the member states, and, well, who cares!”
The European Union announced on January 22 the imposition of restrictive measures against six individuals and five entities linked to the Syrian regime.
The new list included an economic advisor to the president of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad, three businessmen who provide support to the regime, two individuals connected to the Assad family, and five companies that support and benefit from the regime, including Cham Wings airlines owned by Muhammad Issam Shammout, which uses its flights to transport Syrian mercenaries, arms trade, drug smuggling, and money laundering.
The US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control included Cham Wings in the US sanctions list on December 31, 2016, for providing financial, technological, and service support to the Syrian regime government and Syrian Arab Airlines.
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