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The US admits they are to blame for the Syrian hunger

President Trump inherited the Syrian war from its creator, former President Obama. 

Steven Sahiounie, journalist and political commentator…

United States Special Envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, announced on Sunday that Washington had offered Syria a proposal to end the US sanctions. The Foreign and Expatriates Ministry in Damascus said that the statements by James Jeffrey constitute a clear admission by the Trump administration of it being directly responsible for the suffering of Syrians.  The Syrians see the increasing sanctions as economic-warfare after the US failure to bring about ‘regime change’, by using terrorists supported by the CIA. Damascus declares the sanctions violate human rights and international law as they affect the Syrian population.

President Trump inherited the Syrian war from its creator, former President Obama.  In 2016, Trump campaigned with a promise to stop US support of the war in Syria; however, he has since invaded and occupied several areas in Syria and has declared he is there to keep the oil from being used by Syria.  Russia entered Syria in 2015 at the request of Damascus to assist in the fight against Al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists.

The newest sanctions have a 5-year life-span, and can be dismissed if seven criteria are met; however, the first two points are designed specifically to prevent fighting the Al Qaeda terrorists who control Idlib and are holding about 3 million persons as human shields.  Both Syria and Russia, its ally in Syria, have said defeating terrorism are strategic goals.

American sanctions on Syria have piled up in layers since 1979, and increased during the 2011-2020 period, culminating in the newest sanctions this month. Some representatives of the UN and Western NGOs have denounced sanctions as ineffective and inhumane.

A Damascus businessman said, “Sanctions will help prevent Syria from achieving any form of recovery,” while adding, “Wealthy ex-pats won’t come back as long as sanctions are there.”

Friar Firas Lutfi, of the Franciscan order with the Custody of the Holy Land, gave a video interview to ‘Rome Reports’, in which he gave his first-hand testimony about Syria before, during and after the war.  He recalled his former life in Aleppo and explained the plight of persecuted Christians, who had enjoyed full freedom of religion in Syria until the Al Qaeda terrorists arrived at the behest of the Muslim Brotherhood-backed attack which began in 2011.

The terrorists have been defeated, except for Idlib; however, a new form of terror arrived in the form of the COVID-19 virus.  Although the number of cases is low in Syria, the effect of the lockdown has led to poverty, as income was halted.

Friar Lutfi phoned a friend in Syria, and the friend said, “I prefer to die of coronavirus and not by hunger. I cannot afford to see my children dying in front of my eyes, without being able to do anything.”

The price of staple food items in Syria increased 111 percent in a year. The cost of food, medicine, and other basics are skyrocketing in Syrian markets as the Syrian Lira collapses in value. The value of the Syrian Lira on the informal market has plunged from about 940 to the US dollar in January to a rate of about 4,000 recently.  From 1992 to 2011 the rate was steady at 50 Syrian Lira to 1 US dollar.  The years of war and US sanctions have devalued the Syrian currency, and have plunged the middle-class Syrians into poverty.

Recently, some shops and pharmacies are keeping their doors shut because the value of the currency is dropping too fast.  Price rises of essentials including cooking gas and bread are causing suffering.  Even in areas which were not under attack by terrorists, and have passed the war in relative calm, are feeling the effects of the sanctions, which have translated into economic-warfare.

The UN World Food Program reported a survey in April that about a third of the population was not getting enough to eat, while 87 percent had run out of savings after 9 years of war.

The Al Qaeda controlled area in Idlib uses the US dollar and the Turkish Lira and has been spared the currency crisis.  The same can be said of parts of the Northeast under Kurdish control, which is allied with the US.  They also use US dollars to a large extent, and both of the areas are outside of Damascus control, and thus receive substantial aid from both the UN and international charities, which do not provide food and aid in the rest of Syria.  The US and EU have not provided any food or aid to any location in Syria which is under Syrian control.

The US sanctions have been unsuccessful in their goal of ‘regime change’ in Damascus, but have been hugely successful in making the Syrian people suffer, even though they have survived 9 years of terrorist attacks, occupations, deaths, injuries, and destruction they continue to suffer from economic-warfare.

A school teacher in Latakia, said, “We thought if we resisted the terrorists, and defeated them, we would rebuild the lost homes, schools, hospitals and farms and start a new post-war-life.  Now, the war is over, and we can’t rebuild anything and our life is even worse now that we are in peace-time.  Where is our victory over terrorism?  Why is America punishing us for defeating the terrorists?”

The latest US sanctions are designed to prevent any reconstruction of infrastructure damaged in the war, which includes homes, shops, businesses, factories, and infrastructures such as schools and hospitals.

US sanctions have exemptions for ‘humanitarian aid’, which include food, supplies, and bank transfers for humanitarian purposes.  However, those exemptions are in theory only and have never been applied, as the paperwork and time to secure a waiver from the US government makes the exemption useless.

The Trump administration, US Congress, and many Syrian-American groups have praised the new extreme sanctions against Syria.  While the people living today in Syria suffer under the sanctions, those Syrians living inside the US and Europe are prospering and unaffected by the sanctions.

Azhdar Kurtov, of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, explained in an interview with RT, “Syria has become an unpleasant ‘splinter’ in American politics in the Middle East. Moreover, this is not only a local defeat; it is evidence of the collapse of, above all, the global ambitions of the United States. “

Steven Sahiounie is an award-winning journalist

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

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Clarity
Clarity
June 12, 2020

“Why is America punishing us for defeating the terrorists?”
 
Sadly says it all

papa guns
papa guns
June 12, 2020

So who is being made to knock on the Damascus gate now, Syria? How many years have you supported terrorism against the west?
Syria created this mess.

Fighting terrorism with terrorists
Fighting terrorism with terrorists
Reply to  papa guns
June 13, 2020

History’s a major challenge for you, isn’t it?

Diana
Diana
June 12, 2020

The US is being vindictive and for all the sanctimonious talk from both sides of the political divide, they know that people are suffering and dying in high numbers and they couldn’t care less. In fact they only ‘care’ about people when it suits their agenda. They have funded the terrorists to knock much of the country down so, they should pay to have it put back together again.   The terrorists they have paid millions if not billions of dollars to destroy a sovereign state have caused misery and mayhem and it is up to the US to get… Read more »

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Diana
June 12, 2020

The US is vindictive and greedy, keep stealing oil in Syria.

Smoking Eagle
Smoking Eagle
Reply to  Olivia Kroth
June 13, 2020

The US should disgust every decent human being on Earth.

Stj
Stj
June 12, 2020

The US is a corporate empire and it does not care about its own people let alone anyone else.

penrose
penrose
Reply to  Stj
June 12, 2020

comment image?fit=64%2C64&ssl=1
penrose
 
 
June 12, 2020
I think it’s time to break America up into pieces. The Mississippi and The Mason-Dixon Line (properly extended) provide four natural boundaries.Separate off the Coastal Areas, throw in some small Independent principalities like Liechtenstein, and we should be on the road.
 
The end of the Monolithic Monstrosity known as America. Hallelujah!

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  penrose
June 13, 2020

This is an excellent idea. One of the best I have read in a long time.

Tom Welsh
Tom Welsh
June 12, 2020

It is high time the people of the USA found out personally what it is like to live in a country like Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Yemen or Venezuela (to name but a few that have been deliberately harmed by Washington).

Olivia Kroth
Reply to  Tom Welsh
June 12, 2020

If the people of the USA keep demolishing their infrastructure, they soon will be living in a third world country and know what it means to be hungry.
 
 

Last edited 4 months ago by Olivia Kroth
Northern Light
Northern Light
Reply to  Tom Welsh
June 13, 2020

A few more since WW2: Vietnam, Chile, Korea, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Grenada, Nicaragua, Panama, Iran, Ukraine

Black Picard
June 12, 2020

The Al Qaeda controlled area in Idlib uses the US dollar and the Turkish Lira and has been spared the currency crisis. The same can be said of parts of the Northeast under Kurdish control, which is allied with the US. They also use US dollars to a large extent, and both of the areas are outside of Damascus control, and thus receive substantial aid from both the UN and international charities… —-   Ok, so why the fcuk is Russia & China not using their currencies in government controlled territory? Why are they not able to provide food &… Read more »

Smoking Eagle
Smoking Eagle
Reply to  Black Picard
June 13, 2020

What makes you think that Russia has not been sending food and other necessities to Syria? Because it wasn’t reported in MSM? Funny thing that.   On May 7th, the Russian SPARTA II freighter delivered almost 850 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Syria’s Tartus. Since 2016, Russia has conducted over 2,400 humanitarian actions and transported over 4,000 tonnes of food, bottled water and essential goods to Syria. Besides, Russia sent over 4,500 tonnes of construction materials and construction vehicles to Syria “within aid on rebuilding cities.” Currently, ten Syrian provinces conduct repairs and rebuilding of 176 pre-schools and 225 schools with the… Read more »

Northern Light
Northern Light
June 13, 2020

You mean, of course, the Syrian Pound. Syria does not have the Lira; that’s Turkey. The Syrian Pound currently trades at 514 to US$1.

Olivia Kroth
June 13, 2020

Bravo President Assad: holding out against the US fascists trying to destroy your country!

Simple Truths
Simple Truths
June 13, 2020

They’re to blame for more than that. Actively aiding and abetting genocide comes to mind.

Greatest Empire in the History of the World
Greatest Empire in the History of the World
Reply to  Simple Truths
June 13, 2020

No wonder Pompeo is so nervous about the ICC.

ICC
ICC

We’re still trying to figure out why American had supported al Nusra and related terrorists’ genocide in Syria while trying to maintain a plausible ignorance. We’ll get around to it sooner or later.

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