While the US military presence in northeastern Syria is purportedly aimed at preventing the re-emergence of ISIS, there is little denying that the US presence and the overall policy regime it is following in Syria is actively contributing to down grading the country’s military and political gains in the ten long years of a multi-front war. On the one hand, direct US military presence in Syria is hindering the country’s unification under Damascus, and on the other hand, US occupation of Syrian oil reserves has deprived the war-torn country of a critical source of income that it could otherwise use to rebuild itself. At the same time, US sanctions on Syria appear to be working as an economic pathogen that blocks the country’s access to sufficient financial resources. The US Syria policy, centered on plundering, isolating and sanctioning Syria, is therefore a critical factor in US attempts to ravage the country, yet those have yet failed to bring a regime-change or change the country’s behavior, especially its pro-Iran and pro-Russia foreign policy orientation. It is about time the new US administration realized the fatally flawed policy of the Trump administration and redefined its approach.
Therefore, while the US claims to be doing “humanitarian work” in Syria, its regime of sanctions is doing just the opposite. A recent report of Carter Centre showed how “by restricting access to certain goods and services, financial channels, and operational partners, sanctions have altered and sometimes restricted the programs of humanitarian organizations.” And, while the US does give licenses to allow humanitarian organizations to implement their programs, the report shows how a deliberately designed broad and complex licensing regime prevents these organizations from operating freely and easily in the conflict zone. The report shows that “the intricacies of the licensing structures and the costly legal fees (that can go up to $170,000 USD) needed to navigate the framework often impede the smooth and rapid delivery of humanitarian aid, affecting INGO flexibility to respond to emergencies, particularly for INGOs with limited resources.”
The currently imposed US sanctions regime includes not only US government assistance and aid, but also have a “secondary tier” which applies, among many other cases, to non-US companies that support or engage in significant transactions with the Syrian government and designated Syrian companies and personnel,