News ID: 112231
Publish Date : 08 February 2023 - 21:22

Syria Slams U.S. Sanctions for ‘Exacerbating Disaster’ After Earthquake

DAMASCUS (Dispatches) –
Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad has criticized western sanctions which he said have “exacerbated the tragedy and catastrophe” of the devastating earthquake which struck parts of Syria and neighboring Turkey in the early hours of Monday morning.
“The sanctions on Syria have made the disaster all the worse,” Mekdad told Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen. “The state is following up on the mobilization of aid domestically and abroad, and President Bashar al-Assad has requested that all of the state’s capabilities be employed in search and rescue operations.”
“The catastrophe of the earthquake that struck Syria is great, and what has increased its depth is the difficult circumstances that the country has been going through for the past 12 years as it is fighting terrorism and its supporters,” Mekdad said.
“What exacerbated the tragedy and catastrophe was the sanctions imposed by the United States and Western countries on Syria,” he added, reiterating his appeal to all the world countries to provide the required assistance to the Syrian people to confront the humanitarian catastrophe.
The top Syrian diplomat said the ministry had appealed to the member states of the United Nations, the General Secretariat of the organization, its relevant agencies and funds, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and other humanitarian action partners from international, governmental and non-governmental organizations, to extend a helping hand and support Syria’s efforts to confront the crisis.
“When the Americans claim that they did not impose sanctions on humanitarian aid, we tell them that your sanctions prevent everything from Syria, including the purchase of medicines, just as Washington and its Western allies give orders to some countries, and threaten them with sanctions if they deal with Syria or any Syrian banks,” Mekdad said.
The Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement has sent convoys of humanitarian aid to earthquake-affected areas in Syria in the wake of a devastating earthquake that struck the Arab country amid crippling Western sanctions.
Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem told Lebanon’s Arabic-language al-Manar television network on Tuesday that countries around the world must rush to send rescue workers, equipment and aid to help victims of the earthquake.
He ALSO offered his condolences to the Syrian nation and government.
Sheikh Qassem said hat U.S. sanctions, backed by most Arab countries, are hampering relief and rescue operations, adding that the coercive measures run contrary to the fundamental humanitarian principles.
Social media has been flooded with videos and photos of those grappling with the aftermath of the earthquake, blaming their situation on the U.S.-led Western sanctions against the Syrian nation.
Only a few countries have so far come forward to break the inhumane siege on the war-torn country, with Iran leading the efforts.
Human rights activists and journalists have been tweeting heart-breaking videos of children trapped under the rubble of destroyed buildings, with U.S. sanctions making it hard for aid to reach the people.