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US sanctions amount to economic terrorism, cause catastrophic impacts, says Syrian deputy FM

Syrian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Bashar al-Jaafari

Syrian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Bashar al-Jaafari has lambasted US-led sanctions against his country, saying the bans amount to economic terrorism and have catastrophic impacts on Syria’s human rights situation.

Jaafari said in an address to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday that the coercive economic measures by the US target Syrian people's livelihood and their right to life and welfare.

Jaafari also said the terrorist war against Syria, foreign occupation of its territory and the external support for terrorism have caused catastrophic impacts on the human rights situation in Syria.

“The US, western coercive economic measures have also escalated the catastrophic impacts which targeted the Syrian citizen’s livelihood and his/ her right in life and welfare,” the senior Syrian diplomat said in a statement.

He added that the Western coercive measures have turned into economic terrorism targeting the Syrian citizens in their right to life, health, education, and development in all of it forms.

The senior Syrian diplomat accused Britain, France, Israel, Turkey and the US of violating international law by occupying parts of his country, saying the foreign occupation in support of terrorist groups has “limited the state’s ability to take up its role as the guardian of citizens’ human rights.”

Jaafari also accused US forces of destroying oil and gas infrastructure in the Euphrates region, saying the Syrian government is facilitating aid deliveries while facing what he called a systematic terrorist war.

Syria, he said, facilitates the access of humanitarian assistance to all its areas without discrimination, including hard-to-reach or besieged areas by terrorist groups.

“It is surprising that all the institutions, bodies and agencies of the United Nations ignore the alliance of the Israeli occupation with international terrorism and its sponsors,” he said.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy over the past decade.

Since the onset of the Syria crisis in 2011, the US, the European Union and some Arab states — which have been supporting militant groups in their fight against the Syrian government —  have imposed draconian sanctions against the Arab country over what they claim to be sponsoring terror and attacking civilians.

The US imposed a set of sweeping economic sanctions against Syria last year. The much-condemned Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, signed into law by former President Donald Trump, targeted individuals and businesses anywhere in the world that operate either directly or indirectly in Syria’s economy.

The restrictive measures have blocked imports of essential goods, impacting the Syrian people’s access to medical equipment, food, heating, gas and electricity.

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