BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:30 A.M.) – The U.S.’ economic siege of Syria is supposed to apply pressure on the Syrian government to return to the Geneva peace process, but what it’s actually doing is contributing to the continued suffering of millions of people that are attempting to go on with their lives despite the ongoing war that is crippling their country.
Due to the economic blockade imposed by nations like the United States and the United Kingdom, Syria is facing its worst fuel crisis in recent memory.
The U.S. and their allies continue to obstruct resources from entering the country as they use a “starve or surrender” approach, which is what they and many human rights organizations criticized the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad of doing during the military sieges of areas like Al-Zabadani, East Ghouta, east Aleppo, and northern Homs.
The hypocrisy is not the only problem, it is also the timing of these sanctions.
If they really wanted to hurt the government with a fuel crisis, it would have better served the opposition during the early years of the war when the fighting was most intense; however, at this juncture, the rebel groups don’t possess the military prowess to retake all the areas they lost.
So instead of shifting to a policy of trying to rebuild the nation, which they already said they will not pay for, or even leaving the country alone, the U.S. and their allies continue use sanctions as means to punish the country.
Moreover, other than harming the government, these sanctions are just prolonging and worsening the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
There are articles now claiming Syrians living under Assad are getting fed up with the government, but that is not really the case.
If you visit the long fuel lines in Damascus or even go on pro-government social media pages, there is a strong sense of animosity towards these sanctions and those imposing them.
To expect these people to suddenly have a change of heart towards the government or the military is nothing more than wishful thinking; they have already suffered this long and their allegiance is unlikely to shift.
What these sanctions are going to create is a another mass diaspora of people from the country.
While the U.S. may not bear the burden of another refugee crisis, their allies in Europe will.
As long as Assad has the Syrian military and support from the Russians and Iranians, he is not going anywhere, but the people will.