Syria’s Economy Suffering
In another development indicative of the growing pressures on Assad’s regime, the Syrian government has revoked a ban on imports of consumer goods. The ban, which had only been imposed last week, had led to soaring prices on imported merchandise including such goods as cars, household appliances and food items and had outraged Syria’s business elite, which has so far supported Assad’s violent crackdown of protesters.
Syria’s economy has been adversely and severely affected by the crackdown, with a steep decline in investment and tourism. On top of this, the US and the European Union have imposed harsh economic sanctions on Syria, including an embargo on crude oil.
UN Resolution Blocked
However, a United Nations resolution to condemn the “grave and systematic” human rights violations in Syria — specifically, “arbitrary executions, excessive use of force and the killing and persecution of protesters” — was blocked by Russia and China on Tuesday. Syria is Russia’s main ally in the Middle East and Russia had said that it would not accept a resolution containing any mention of sanctions, which the US and other European countries have been seeking to impose. The resolution had already been watered down to say that sanctions could possibly be considered, while not actually calling for them.
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Photo of anti-Assad rally in Washington in August by Elvert Barnes
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