Syria – Lifting sanctions on Northern Syria receives mixed reactions.
Location: Qamishli – Syria
Language: Arabic + Kurdish
Source: A24 Syria
Restrictions: A24 subscribers
The US decision to exempt the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria from the U.S. Caesar Act sanctions targeting the Syrian government has received mixed reactions from the regions’ people.
The US said the decision would apply to agriculture, reconstruction work and other sectors, but not to oil.
Local People told A24 that the Biden administration should remove sanction on oil as the region depends heavily on oil, which is the main source of income.
Others said the decision will promote and attract local and foreign investments in the region amid precarious security situation and various threats to the Autonomous Administration.
Some people called for finding an investment law in the region that aim at boosting vital sectors including agriculture, dams, energy, electricity and education.
Residents asked Washington to lift sanctions completely and permanently, a move they said would cause collapse of the US dollar that would in turn lure in investments and improve living standards of people.
Soundbite (Evan Taher – Youth activist):
“Excluding areas of northern and eastern Syria from the sanctions had positive reactions among citizens. The economic effect of this matter on people’s daily lives and livelihoods is still unclear given the fact there are other reasons for the poor economic situation in the region. One of the reasons being the lack of an investment law within the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. We also lack initiatives to encourage investors in the region, in addition to the security issues and constant threats from neighboring areas. There are also infrastructure and electricity issues along with many other reasons causing economic instability in the region. Although, this exemption is indeed a gesture of goodwill.”
Soundbite (Rafea Ismael – Trader):
“The US Administration did not include the oil industry in the exemption, although areas east of Euphrates rely mainly on oil trading that is the main source of income for the treasury. The exemption from sanctions should include the oil industry. The US Administration should take the initiative as a ‘Superpower’ and invest in the areas east of the Euphrates, establishing projects and sending companies. This initiative would encourage other companies and countries to invest in areas of northern and eastern Syria, which would achieve security, development and economic prosperity in the region. After the scourge, war and destruction that the region lived through, it needs projects to support sectors including agriculture, dams, energy, electricity and education.”
“The citizens are the ones who pay the price for sanctions imposed on Syria. The residents are the only ones affected by this decision. We hope these sanctions will be lifted completely and permanently, as it would cause a decline in the value of the US dollar. The currency depreciation would lead to businesses and companies opening in the region, which would improve the standard of living. Since the sanctions were imposed; the value of the US dollar has been rising continuously leading to a stagnant state in the market, lack of work and deteriorating living conditions.”