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Can the brand new US sanctions on Syria bring down Assad’s regime?

The toughest US sanctions nonetheless on Syria kick in this week, and they are expected to strangle the nation’s already teetering market.

Washington claims the move intends to punish Bashar al-Assad and his top officials for offenses committed since the beginning of the country’s bloody civil war in 2011.

The sanctions effectively stop anybody around the globe from doing business with Syrian officials or state associations, or by engaging in Syria’s reconstruction. Additionally, they aim anybody involved with smuggling goods to Syria, largely by neighboring Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan.

They come at a catchy time for the Syrian market, already struggling with the fallout in the coronavirus pandemic and also a fiscal collapse in Lebanon — Syria’s most important connection to the rest of the planet.

The sanctions pile pressure on Assad. He might have won the military war against his competitors, but he has to contend with the chance of renewed civil unrest, as more than 80 percent of Syrians live in poverty, based on United Nations data.

What’re the sanctions alter?
US and EU sanctions have frozen the assets of the Syrian authorities and tens of thousands of organizations and people. Washington also prohibits Americans from exporting to Syria or investing in there and pubs oil and gas trades with the nation.

The new sanctions, the roughest yet, will aim gamers anywhere on the planet, irrespective of nationality, that try to conduct business with Syria from the building, engineering, energy, or aviation businesses.

For the very first time, the new sanctions also aim those coping with European and Russian entities in Syria.

“This law will shut all of the doors to the Syrian regime and some other individual that copes with this,” said Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese citizen who’s a member of their Caesar Act group, a team that advises US government about implementing the sanctions.

How can they affect Syria?
The sanctions are predicted to cut off Syria in the international market even more radically.

They come as Syria is attempting to court foreign investors to fund its reconstruction, and on the rear of a significant fiscal crisis in Lebanon.

Banks in Lebanon have served as a gateway into the entire world for Syrian teachers, officials, and everyday folks: that is where a lot of them retained their cash. Now steps aimed at stopping a run on Lebanese banks also have prevented Syrians from withdrawing money.

The mere potential for US sanctions has already been damaging Syria’s market.

Costs of basic goods have jumped, though some staples like rice, sugar, and medicine are getting to be difficult to discover.

Brewing unrest
Since the Syrian market collapses, there is also an increasing threat of renewed civil unrest.

Last week, at the southern town of Sweida, a government-controlled place, dozens of people took to the streets to protest spiraling inflation, together with some calling Assad’s downfall.

“He starves his folks is a traitor,” a number of those protesters chanted.

Syria specialist and writer Diana Darke consider that Syria may be at a crossroads.

“I believe that the pressure on the program hasn’t been so extreme as it’s currently,” she advised Euronews at a TV interview.

“He (Assad) has attempted to demonstrate he’s in control. However, I think the indications are that he is not, really, and that he is concerned (…) I expect that the program will detract from within.”