Marwa Osman, on the Western Sanctions Preventing Syria’s Rescue Efforts

Early last week, Turkey, Syria & surrounding countries experienced a series of earthquakes & aftershocks which tragically struck Syria and Turkey the hardest, killing over 35,000 people now, including over 4,300 in Syria.

Syria has already suffered over a decade of the West’s devastating war on the Syrian people. Now this tragedy.

I spoke with Marwa Osman to discuss the impact of the West’s cruel anti-Syrian sanctions on the current rescue & relief efforts in Syria. Marwa is a Lebanese journalist, political commentator, host & producer of the Mideast Stream, and a university lecturer.

“It’s already devastating in Syria because of the cumulative effect of the sanctions. Before the earthquakes, the sanctions worked on three specialized levels:

The first level is on the financial institutions in Syria that are directly linked to the government. If you want to wire money from outside of Syria to any bank in Syria, it has to go through the central bank of Syria, which has been sanctioned since the early days of the war. Which means if you want to transfer & wire money to the people affected by the earthquake to their bank accounts in Syria, you can’t, because its still under sanctions…

The second level: the health sector in Syria. The sanctions are on everything within the governmental institutions in Syria, one of which is the Ministry of Health, which controls all of the health sector in Syria. Syria does have privatized hospitals, but majorly all of the hospitals in Syria are controlled by the government, because everyone has the right to have medical care in Syria. By doing these sanctions on all institutions related to the Syrian government, you by default sanction the health sector in Syria.

Third: sanctioning any country that deals with the Syrian government, whether buying selling products, especially medical products or machinery needed for reconstruction, ambulances…You’re not allowed to deal with Syria or you will be sanctioned…If you have the right technology, you can detect whether there are people under the rubble. Syria isn’t even allowed to buy this technology, because of the sanctions.”

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