Turkey-Syria earthquake: Assad blames west as agencies struggle to get aid to his desperate people

Sat, 25 Feb 2023 14:32:03 +1100

Andrew Pam <xanni [at] glasswings.com.au>

Andrew Pam

"It didn’t take long for Syria’s Assad regime to seek political and economic
benefit from the devastation of an earthquake. As emergency services were
reaching victims of the 7.8-magnitude tremor on February 6, regime-linked
organisations demanded governments “immediately end the siege and unilateral
coercive economic sanctions imposed on Syria and its people for 12 years”.

Long-time supporters of the Assad line were just as prompt. Rania Khalek, a
commentator on pro-Assad and Russian state-linked outlets, tweeted: “Syria has
to deal with this horrific disaster while under US sanctions that have ruined
its medical sector and capacity to respond, these sanctions are criminal.”

Meanwhile, the regime threatened to block any assistance to opposition-held
areas of northwest Syria, with its UN ambassador, Bassam Sabbagh insisting that
Damascus must oversee all deliveries into Syria.

The UN’s resident Syria coordinator, El-Mostafa Benlamlih, appealed: “Put
politics aside and let us do our humanitarian work. We can’t afford to wait and
negotiate. By the time we negotiate, it’s done, it’s finished.”"

       *** Xanni ***
mailto:xanni@xanadu.net               Andrew Pam
http://xanadu.com.au/                 Chief Scientist, Xanadu
https://glasswings.com.au/            Partner, Glass Wings
https://sericyb.com.au/               Manager, Serious Cybernetics

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