What Sanctions? Assad Allies Got $18 Million in Payouts

The United Nations paid at least $18 million last year to companies with close ties to Bashar al-Assad, some of them run by cronies of the Syrian president who are on U.S. and European Union blacklists.

Contracts for telecommunications and security were awarded to regime insiders including Rami Makhlouf, Assad's cousin. UN staff ran up a $9.5 million bill at the Four Seasons hotel in Damascus, co-owned by Syria's tourism ministry, according to the UN's annual report on procurement for...

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