OPINIONS Hegemon's hand behind Syria's humanitarian crisis


Hegemon's hand behind Syria's humanitarian crisis

China Daily

08:36, May 15, 2023

Snowfall provides a distraction from the harsh living conditions for these young Syrians in Idlib on March 12, 2023. Many buildings in the Jabal ez-Zawiya district have been destroyed. (Photo: ANADOLU AGENCY)

Syria's return to the big family of the Arab League after 12 years is an important step for Arab countries to strengthen their unity and regional stability. The international community believes that this is another milestone in the Middle East reconciliation process following the resumption of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia. It is conducive to promoting peace and stability in the Middle East, accelerating development and revitalization of the Arab world and serving the long-term interests of Arab countries.

But while that is regarded as good news by the majority of the world it has triggered a different reaction from the United States. It declared its opposition to Syria's return to the Arab League last week, and announced it was extending its unilateral sanctions against the country for another year. Some in Washington have declared that bringing Syria back into the Arab League is "a serious strategic mistake" and that the US should not normalize relations with Syria and it should urge its allies to follow suit. These moves expose the US' double standard on human rights.

The Syrian crisis has dragged on for 12 years, creating a humanitarian crisis. According to figures released by the United Nations, the Syrian crisis has cost at least 350,000 lives, displaced more than 12 million people and left 14 million civilians in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. And 90 percent of the Syrian population now live in poverty, and two-thirds of the population depends on humanitarian assistance for their livelihoods.

The US bears unshirkable responsibility for the chaos in Syria. It has long imposed illegal unilateral sanctions on Syria, aggravating the humanitarian disaster in the country. The illegal unilateral sanctions by the US have greatly weakened Syria's ability to cope with disasters. In February, a powerful earthquake struck northwestern Syria, causing a large number of casualties. Under the pressure of international public opinion, the US temporarily lifted some sanctions against Syria only after the 72-hour golden relief period passed.

Now, with Syria readmitted to the Arab League and Arab countries agreeing to help Syria out of the crisis, the US insists on extending the illegal unilateral sanctions against Syria, which fully demonstrates that the US puts its hegemony above human rights.

The future of Syria must be kept in the hands of the Syrian people. The US should put aside its geopolitical calculations and help the country end the humanitarian crisis at an early date.

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