Middle East Council of Churches: Lift sanctions off Syria immediately
The Council says it is doing its best to allocate resources to help the people suffering due to the earthquake but is being obstructed by the blockade on Syria.
The Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) called for the immediate lifting of sanctions imposed on Syria - by the West - as the current blockade is restricting the efforts to provide the Syrian people with the basic needs to respond to the devastating earthquake that struck the country.
"We urge the immediate lifting of sanctions on Syria and allowing access to all materials, so sanctions may not turn into a crime against humanity," said the attendees of the Council in a statement.
They added that "despite their [Churches] limited resources as a result of the blockade," however, "all the Churches in the Middle East have put their resources at the disposal of the affected and displaced people due to the earthquake, since the first moments of the disaster."
Read more: WFP warns of rising hunger in Syria
The MECC "called on the international community and the international Ecumenical family to provide urgent emergency aid to the region, in coordination with the Middle East Council of Churches, the Churches, and their affiliated institutions."
We "will spare no effort in doing all they can to relieve their pain and lead them towards prosperity and progress," continued the statement, stressing that the Churches in the Middle East "always supports their people."
Syria; a nation the West wants to see suffer
Due to the war that weakened the infrastructure in Syria, the draconian Western sanctions imposed on the country, the US occupation of Syrian land, and the looting of billions of dollars of its resources, Syria is unable to fully respond to the tragic catastrophe. As a result, the number of victims of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake is on the rise.
On January 16, the United States targeted Syria's health sector with fresh sanctions again.
Syria condemned the unhumanitarian move and stressed that this calls for an urgent international intervention to put an end to these hostile practices.
Earlier, the Syrian government urged the international community to come to its aid after more than 850 people died so far in the country following a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Turkey, while rescue missions are still underway in search of survivors.
Following the earthquakes, several Western countries mobilized rapidly to send aid and rescue workers to Turkey but decided to exclude Syria and neglect it, by only offering condolences and merely expressing readiness to support the affected Syrians, with nothing done on the ground, in a clear act of hypocrisy and double standards.
The Western countries and blocs ignored Syria's appeal for international aid to help face the devastating earthquake, leaving thousands of Syrians alone to face their fate.
In 2020, then-US President Donald Trump signed into law the so-called 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.
However, this was not the case following the devastating earthquake that struck Syria and was not mentioned anywhere in Biden's remarks.
To add salt to injury, Damascus International Airport is still undergoing repairs and maintenance following the most Israeli airstrike on the facility on January 2.
The airport is the target of repeated Israeli occupation assaults and airstrikes that put it out of service. This fact cannot be ignored as any humanitarian aid to land in the country will definitely be hindered.