US ‘Caesar Act’ sanctions could devastate Syria’s flatlining economy

The Guardian | : Critics say legislation is being used for US strategy and could cause further problems for country and wider region

Its currency has plunged by 70% since April, more than half its people face food scarcity, and hopes of rebuilding a country shattered by war continue to ebb.

Syria seems barely able to absorb new shocks, but new US sanctions that take effect next week, could devastate what is left of its flatlining economy and amplify the gravest regional decline in decades.

Known as the Caesar Act, the US legislation is a centrepiece of efforts by the anti-Assad opposition to deliver justice to the perpetrators of war crimes committed throughout the country’s nine-year conflict. But on the eve of its implementation, the new law is being interpreted as a catch-all for a broader push that aims to crush two of the regime’s main backers, Iran and Hezbollah.

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