Press release on anti-Syria Caesar Act
The Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, also known as the Caesar Act, went into effect in the United States on June 17.
Under the act, the US administration is required to impose sanctions against individuals and companies in Syria’s mining, manufacturing and construction industries. The restrictions also include banking, trade, investment and energy sectors. US officials commenting on the Caesar Act say smugly that the sanctions are designed to choke off revenue for the Syrian Government and deprive the country of foreign assistance, so that Assad “will never regain standing as a legitimate leader.”
Washington is fully aware that the unilateral US sanctions against Syria, which have been in effect for several years and have been complemented with new restrictions today, were largely responsible for sending the Syrian pound down and the prices of fuel, food and basic necessities up. As a result of this, thousands of Syrians have been pushed to the edge of survival, according to representatives of specialised UN humanitarian agencies.
The United States went even further in its striving to politicise the humanitarian needs of Syrian civilians. The Caesar Act says openly that restrictions will not include “bona fide” international activities in the regions that are not controlled by the Syrian government. On the contrary, the United States welcomes and is encouraging the implementation of economic projects and investment in Idlib and the regions east of the Euphrates, where ISIS and Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, which are on the UN Security Council’s list of organisations designated as terrorist, continue to operate.
At the same time, Washington is touting itself as the leading donor of humanitarian assistance, but it keeps silent about its illegal trade in Syrian hydrocarbons, the freezing of Syrian bank assets or the blocking of approved international funding for Syria. Washington uses every opportunity to mention the well-oiled system of humanitarian exemptions, which allegedly are not hindering the provision of humanitarian aid to Syria but help to adjust extraterritorial sanctions, which are essentially illegal, to international law.
However, it is an established fact that the unilateral restrictions adopted in circumvention of the UN Security Council, are preventing the delivery of medicines, including raw materials for the manufacturing of medicines and anaesthetics, computers and high-tech equipment such as X-ray scanners, ventilators, dialysis and beam radiation equipment, as well as fertilisers, water purification and construction equipment, power generators, etc. We would like to add that the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures, Idriss Jazairy, openly said in 2018 in a report on the results of his visit to Syria that multilevel sanctions hindered the provision of humanitarian aid and infringed on Syrians’ rights, and that their negative impact cannot be compensated by multimillion dollar donations or waivers to existing sanctions, which are limited and excessively bureaucratised.
It is obvious that although nothing has changed since then, Washington’s sanctions against Syria have been further expanded and toughened. The Caesar Act, which claims to protect civilians, will in fact hit ordinary Syrians.