China Urges US to Lift Sanctions to Let Humanitarian Aid in Syria

China Urges US to Lift Sanctions to Let Humanitarian Aid in Syria

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Chinese Foreign Ministry called on the United States to lift its sanctions on Syria, which have disrupted relief efforts following the recent earthquakes that killed over 15,000 people in the region.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning pointed to Washington's history of intervention in Syria and the negative impact it has had on ordinary citizens. She urged the US to "unlock the doors for humanitarian aid," RT reported.

“The devastating earthquakes – on top of years of war and turmoil – have left Syria in a terrible humanitarian crisis,” she said, adding that “frequent (US) military strikes and harsh economic sanctions have caused huge civilian casualties and taken away the means to subsistence of the Syrians.”

“In the wake of the catastrophe, the US should put aside geopolitical obsessions and immediately lift the unilateral sanctions on Syria, to unlock the doors for humanitarian aid to Syria,” she added.

Humanitarian groups, such as the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and the US-based Arab American-Anti-Discrimination Committee, have implored US officials to drop the sanctions following Monday’s quakes, which rocked Syria and Turkey and killed thousands in both countries. 

Many residents are now trapped under collapsed buildings, creating an urgent need for timely relief, though humanitarian organizations say US sanctions have only made the job more difficult.

“The evacuation process and rescue operations are restricted due to obstacles resulting from the severe sanctions. We have shortages in heavy machines and equipment is needed to lift the rubble,” said SARC president Khaled Hboubati, adding that US sanctions are creating the greatest obstructions for relief efforts.

Washington has outright refused to consider halting the economic penalties, with the State Department insisting such a move would be “counterproductive”.

Mao went on to condemn ongoing US military operations in Syria, stating that American forces are stealing the country’s energy resources at a staggering rate.

“As we speak, the US troops continue to occupy Syria’s principal oil-producing regions. They have plundered more than 80% of Syria’s oil production and smuggled and burned Syria’s grain stock. All this has made Syria’s humanitarian crisis even worse,” she continued.

Though Damascus has repeatedly denounced the US military presence and demanded an end to the illegal occupation of its sovereign territory, Washington has refused to budge. Just shy of 1,000 US soldiers continue to operate in Kurdish-controlled areas in Syria’s oil-rich northeast, as well as its southern border area, where they are embedded with Arab rebel factions.

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