EU promises aid to anti-Damascus region in name of Syrian sovereignty but sanctions Assad government for sovereignty – RT Op-ed

Through Kevin karp, commentator, screenwriter and former political advisor to the House of Commons and the European Parliament. As a European advisor based in Brussels and Strasbourg, he specialized in international trade, European populism and Brexit. Find his website on

The EU’s promise of aid to an anti-Damascus separatist Syrian region and the renewal of sanctions against Bashar Assad reveal a contradictory policy that increases humanitarian aid, while exacerbating the difficulties that require such aid.

Just after promise a humanitarian aid package of around 26 million euros on Wednesday to the Kurdish-controlled separatist region of northeastern Syria (NES), EU authorities renewed on Thursday punishments against the Syrian government of Bashar Assad. On the same day, the Syrian leader was re-elected president in a landslide victory, with a turnout of 78.6%.

The pair of EU decisions are impractical: Aid routes to NES via Iraq and Jordan have been closed, and the only current approaches, via Turkey, are fraught with tension while Ankara, having invaded the NES in 2019, cordially the Kurdish Autonomous Administration of the Rojava region as a terrorist entity. President Assad’s forces, meanwhile, have regained sovereignty over much of Syrian territory and have sought to consolidate their control over all of Syrian territory. foreign aid inputs, including those intended for NES.

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True, the remainder of the EU’s € 130 million Syrian aid allocation for 2021 is being allocated to other parts of the country, but by devoting so much of that aid to a region under regime anti-regime, the secessionist authority undermines Syrian territorial integrity. . This fragmentation, combined with the suppression of Syria’s economic recovery through EU sanctions, are the “The collapse of the economy affecting the country” that EU aid is explicitly supposed to mitigate.

The official EU Council statement on the extension of the sanctions affirmed that they “are designed to avoid any impact on humanitarian aid.“However, in reality, the EU’s partisan aid and sanctions policies have dramatically worsened the humanitarian crisis in Syria – and therefore more costly – by exacerbating the problems its policies are supposed to solve.

The sanctions ban imports of Syrian oil by the EU, impose bans on doing business with many Syrian companies and freeze the EU bank accounts of the Syrian Central Bank – hampering the government’s ability to generate revenue. income and to procure equipment to mitigate the catastrophic the effects of a foreign-funded war include economic and social dislocation, food insecurityand damaged infrastructure. Likewise, these disastrous effects of European sanctions have prevented European aid workers in Syria from effectively delivering humanitarian services funded by their governments.

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A source within the European Commission said that aid for the region controlled by Rojava, which has no official international recognition, was pledged according to “the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, as enshrined in the EU and international law. “Yet by extending the punitive sanctions by the EU against the Syrian government of Assad based in Damascus, the Council justified its measure because of the alleged “continued repression of the civilian population in the country,A statement that casts neutrality and implicitly blames Assad for Syria’s mess.

Much of the crackdown in Syria decried by the EU has come from anti-regime activists backed by the West, including Rojava. European governments have often concealed their support for violent Syrian opposition elements under the guise of humanitarian aid. For years, a cabal comprising Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands would have funnel millions of dollars of infusions of money through the Mayday Rescue Foundation, which is said to have served as a payer for the Western-trained Syrian White Helmets – a group labeled by supportive Western governments as a philanthropic organization, but which operated in made the civilian and medical infrastructure for the separatist Syrian regions under jihadist control.

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Rojava’s administration has its own checkered past in the areas of democratic transparency and human rights, further highlighting the flagrant and politicized mark of inconsistency in Syrian aid that the EU is guilty of. . In 2020, Rojava signed an agreement with the American company Delta Crescent Energy for the exploitation of the oil resources of NES, ridiculed by the Syrian Foreign Ministry as clearly partisan imperialism, in a statement calling it “integrated and aggravated theft [that] can only be described as an agreement between thieves who steal and thieves who buy, constituting an assault on the sovereignty of Syria. “

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In 2017, Kurdish-led militias, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), waged a brutal campaign to take control of Raqqa fighters of the Islamic State (IS) with the support of the United States, almost completely destroying the city and killing more than 1,600 civilians. According to some indicators, during the hostilities, the SDF coalition target Arab civilians in predominantly Arab Raqqa in order to kill or expel Arab-Syrian citizens who would be most likely to oppose a Kurdish-dominated enclave that would violate their rights. One of the most alarming indicators was that during the fighting, the SDF attackers struck a deal with their avowed IS enemies, who left approaches open to Raqqa as the SDF continued to beat civilian residents of Raqqa.

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Meanwhile, crawling child recruitment is a persistent problem in several Kurdish militias that are part of the SDF.

This is the type of government that the announced EU aid tranche apparently purports to finance. The policy implemented is not a humanitarian rescue policy. Sending money to Rojava would only channel EU largesse to anti-Damascus forces under the guise of human rights, as the SDF commits human rights violations to respond to its objective of fragmenting Syria.

By severely restricting Syria’s international trade relations through sanctions, the EU is exacerbating the humanitarian crisis that its aid is supposed to alleviate. Continued sanctions prevent the Assad government from taking full advantage of the economic gains from its resources – including its national oil wealth – to rebuild a civil war-ravaged country largely funded and encouraged by foreign powers. Promises to help a region controlled by Rojava, with its history of collaborating with ISIS and civilian killings, show Damascus that Brussels doesn’t care “impartiality“neither”independenceIn this case, but rather seeks to entrench the region as a partisan and separatist enclave dependent on foreign funding.

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The statements, opinions and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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