US, EU sanctions cause suffering for Syrians: Damascus envoy to UN

Press TV – Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari has strongly denounced sanctions imposed on his country by the United States and the European Union, saying the bans are harming the Syrian people.

Jaafari told a Security Council session on Monday that foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists and the sanctions imposed by the US and the EU were inflicting suffering on the Syrian people, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported.

On May 28, the EU extended its restrictive measures against the Damascus government until June 1, 2019.

The sanctions currently in place against Syria include an oil embargo, restrictions on certain investments and a freeze of the assets of the Syrian central bank held in the EU.

The EU bans are also in place on dozens of companies linked to the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

In July last year, Damascus blasted the EU for imposing the sanctions against several Syrian nationals, saying the bans merely served the terrorists and helped cover up their crimes.

An official source at the Foreign Ministry said at the time that the bans reflected that “the EU lacks moral and ethical standards while dealing with today’s crises, particularly in the universal war against terrorism.”

Washington has also placed restrictions on hundreds of employees and scientists at a Syrian government agency over their alleged involvement in developing chemical munitions.

Syria has rejected using banned weapons during its anti-terrorism operations.

Damascus surrendered its entire chemical arsenal to a mission led by the Organization for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the UN in 2013, in a mark of transparency after it was blamed for a chemical attack.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Syrian envoy also accused the US-led coalition of using white phosphorus bombs during its airstrikes on Syria’s troubled eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr.

The US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.

Jaafari concluded by saying that Syria believes in the neutral, independent, and non-politicized role of the UN in helping the Syrians affected by terrorism.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.