The US Is Using Wheat as a Weapon of War in Syria – Global Research

the-us-is-using-wheat-as-a-weapon-of-war-in-syria-–-global-research

20-05-20 02:38:00,

Apache helicopters of the US occupation forces flew low Sunday morning, according to residents of the Adla village, in the Shaddadi countryside, south of Hasaka, as they dropped ‘thermal balloons’, an incendiary weapon, causing the wheat fields to explode into flames while the hot dry winds fanned the raging fire.

After delivering their fiery pay-load, the helicopters flew close to homes in an aggressive manner, which caused residents and especially small children to fear for their lives.  The military maneuver was delivering a clear message: don’t sell your wheat to the Syrian government. Head of Hasaka Agricultural Directorate Rajab Salameh said in a statement to SANA that several fires have broken out in agricultural fields in Tal Tamer countryside, as well.

The US illegal bases in Syria fly Apache helicopters.  US President Trump portrays himself as a champion of the American Christians, and he has millions of loyal supporters among the Christian churches across the US.  However, the Christian Bible states in Deuteronomy 20:19 that it is a sin against God to destroy food or food crops even during times of war.

Bread is the most important staple in Syria, and two weeks into the annual wheat harvest, Damascus is keen on securing its supply of grain, while beset by the global pandemic.  On May 4, President Assad said in a meeting with his COVID-19 team that “our most difficult internal challenge is securing basic goods, especially foodstuffs.”

Since the beginning of the US-NATO attack on Syria in 2011, wheat production has fallen from an average of 4.1 million tons per year to just 2.2 million tons in 2019. Syria had been a wheat importer but switched to being an exporter of grain in the 1990s.

According to the UN, Syria was hit by acute food insecurity in 2019, with approximately 6.5 million people considered food insecure.

The northern provinces of Hasakah, Raqqa, Aleppo, and Deir e-Zor, in addition to Hama in central Syria, accounting for 96% of total national wheat production. Using fire as a weapon of war, 85,000 hectares of grain were burnt in 2019, and the Syrian government was forced to import 2.7 million tons to cover the losses.

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Rice & wheat prices surge amid fears Covid-19 lockdown may threaten global food security

rice-&-wheat-prices-surge-amid-fears-covid-19-lockdown-may-threaten-global-food-security

09-04-20 10:05:00,

Increased panic buying of food due to coronavirus lockdowns has led to price spikes for the world’s two staple grains, rice and wheat. Importers rushed to stockpile the goods, while exporters have curbed shipments.

The price of rice has hit seven-year highs, while wheat futures have risen by around 15 percent since the second half of March. The International Grain Council expects a sharp upturn in near-term demand for rice and wheat-based foods.

According to the Thai Rice Exporters Association, the price of five percent broken white rice (the industry benchmark) rose 12 percent between March 25 and April 1. Rice prices are now the highest since late April 2013, Reuters data showed.

“Supply is currently tightening due to the impact of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic on demand and trade, as well as to the aftermath of bad weather in key producers (severe drought in South East Asia and Australia),” said Fitch Solutions.

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Rice prices had started climbing in late 2019 due to a severe drought in Thailand and strong demand from Asian and African importers. Thailand is the world’s second-largest exporter after India, one place ahead of Vietnam.

In India, rice traders have now stopped signing new export contracts as labor shortages and logistical disruptions have been hampering the delivery of existing contracts.

“Unlike other sectors, agriculture is heavily affected by the timing of the lockdown, rather than the duration, because of the strict planting and harvesting calendar,” said Samarendu Mohanty, Asia regional director at the Peru-based International Potato Center (a non-profit group researching food security).

He explained to CNBC that North America, Europe and China are now facing labor shortages and supply line disruptions for spring planting and “if the planting season is missed, there will be no crop for the season or for the entire year.”

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Food industry associations and organizations are urging countries to keep trade open.

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