Hezbollah sends aid convoys to quake-hit Syria
Deputy Secretary General of Hezbollah, Sheikh Naim Qassem reveals that the movement is sending humanitarian aid to Syria amid the catastrophe.
The Lebanese resistance movement, Hezbollah, revealed it sent convoys of humanitarian aid to earthquake-affected areas in Syria, in light of the catastrophic earthquake that struck the Arab country amid the inhumane Western sanctions.
Deputy Secretary-General of Hezbollah, Sheikh Naim Qassem, told Lebanon's Al-Manar television channel on Tuesday that countries around the world must rush to send rescue workers, equipment, and aid to earthquake victims.
Qassem offered his condolences to Syria and the Syrian government, announcing that Hezbollah has dispatched convoys of humanitarian aid to quake-hit areas.
He argued that US sanctions, backed by most Arab countries, are hindering relief and rescue operations, adding that the coercive measures violate fundamental humanitarian principles.
The top Hezbollah official emphasized that the West must understand that Syrians are united in their fight against Takfiri militant groups. He also emphasized that Hezbollah is standing by Syria and Turkey in the aftermath of the tragic incident.
Earlier on Tuesday, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) urged the United States and the European Union to lift the siege and economic sanctions imposed on Syria, which are hampering relief efforts in earthquake-ravaged areas.
The earthquake that hit Syria is a major catastrophe, and what exacerbated the issue is the status quo in Syria, due to its war on terrorism and its backers, Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told Al Mayadeen on Tuesday.
"The sanctions on Syria made the disaster all the worse," Mekdad said. "The state is following up on the mobilization of aid domestically and abroad, and President Bashar Al-Assad requested that all the state's capabilities be employed in search and rescue operations."
"All of the hospitals in Syria have been asked to treat earthquake victims," Mekdad said, noting that Syria had asked, through its ambassadors, for international aid to confront the disaster it has been struck with.
"Many countries have sent aid to Syria, and we thank all the leaders who contacted us, sending their condolences and expressing their will to give us aid," the Syrian top diplomat told Al Mayadeen. "The situation is very hard, and regardless of the amount of aid sent to Syria, it needs much more."
US sanctions standing in Syria's way
Commenting on the harsh situation in Syria due to the war and blockade, Mekdad told Al Mayadeen that terrorist groups destroyed all of Syria's capabilities, from vehicles to cranes and bulldozers, among other equipment, at a time when authorities need them because people are trapped under the rubble.
"The US sanctions are prohibiting Syria from accessing anything, including medicine," the top diplomat said.
What is the Caesar act?
In 2020, then-US President Donald Trump signed into law the Caesar Act, under which Congress authorized severe economic sanctions against Syria. In accordance with the sanctions, anyone doing business with the Syrian authorities, even including transport of basic needs, such as food and medicine into the country, is potentially exposed to travel restrictions and financial sanctions.
Washington claims that "the Caesar Act and other U.S. Syria sanctions do not target humanitarian assistance for the Syrian people" and that they [US] will continue sending its alleged humanitarian assistance to Syrians.