Syria: Western Sanctions Hampering Quake Relief Efforts

Feb. 7, 2023

DAMASCUS (Dispatches) – A Syrian official has called on the United States and the European Union to lift the siege and economic sanctions imposed on Syria that are severely hampering relief work in quake-stricken areas of the country.

Khaled Hboubati, head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC), made the appeal during a press conference on Tuesday, underlining the need for rescue operation equipment following a deadly 7.8-magnitude earthquake a day earlier that killed at least 1,444 Syrians.

“We need heavy equipment, ambulances and firefighting vehicles to continue to rescue and remove the rubble, and this entails lifting sanctions on Syria as soon as possible,” Hboubati said.

“The number of victims is likely to rise, and a number of buildings are still at risk of collapsing. The results of the earthquake are disastrous, and our volunteers are ready, but we lack equipment,” he added.

Hboubati further noted that the Syrian government has allocated 126 shelters in Aleppo, 23 in Lattakia, 5 in Hama, 3 in Homs, and 3 in Tartous to help those affected.

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How are sanctions, blockade affecting humanitarian effort in Syria?

Feb. 7, 2023

A massive earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 Richter ripped through Syria on early Monday, leading to hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries, with the latest tallies showing that more than 1,602 people have been killed in the catastrophe-stricken country, with thousands more injured.

The Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has called on the United Nations and competent UN organizations, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), among many other humanitarian organizations to provide help for the country in the face of the devastating disaster Syria has been hit with.

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Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad held a meeting with UN representatives and various NGOs in a bid to explain the impact of the unilateral sanctions that are drastically affecting the situation in the country and the humanitarian response to it.

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Foreign Ministry: US sanctions hinder humanitarian relief efforts in Syria

Feb 7, 2023

Damascus, SANA-Foreign and Expatriates Ministry on Tuesday refuted attempts of US officials to mislead the world public opinion on the economic sanctions imposed on the Syrian people, claiming that there is nothing that prevents the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria.

“The US administration’s officials, among them the Regional Spokesperson of the US State Department, Samuel Werberg, and the US permanent missions in New York and Geneva, continue their attempts to mislead the world public opinion and the American people that there is nothing in Caesar Act or the US sanctions to hinder the delivery of humanitarian urgent aid to the Syrian people,” Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said in a statement.

The statement added that the Syrians, while dealing with the earthquake catastrophe, are digging among rubbles by their own hands or using simplest tools as the equipment of removing the rubbles are banned because they are punished by the US.

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After Earthquake Devastates Syria, US Shows No Interest in Lifting Sanctions

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