(Photo credit: AP)
The US House of Representatives on 27 February approved Resolution 132, which urges the White House to “remain committed” to implementing unilateral economic sanctions on quake-struck Syria.
In a 414-2 vote, lawmakers resolved that Washington must “remain committed to the protection of the Syrian people including by implementing the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019.”
Republican representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene and Thomas Massie were the only ones to vote against the resolution. While neither has publicly commented on their vote, western media has painted their objection as a refusal to “mourn the victims” of last month’s earthquake.
“I am pleased the House overwhelmingly passed H. Res 132 … [which] urges the administration to remain committed to protecting the Syrian people, including by implementing the Caesar Act,” House Foreign Affairs Chairman Michael McCaul said following Monday’s vote, stressing his “concern” about the growing push by Arab states to normalize ties with Damascus.
McCaul added that enforcing unilateral sanctions on Syria “must include disallowing any energy deal for Lebanon that benefits the Assad regime.”
Lebanon has been waiting since 2021 for Washington to provide Egypt, Jordan, and Syria with sanctions waivers to launch a desperately-needed energy sharing plan that the US embassy in Beirut brokered.
In 2019, the US Congress passed the Caesar Act, which strictly prohibited states, companies, and individuals from doing business with the Syrian government. This crushing sanctions package came on top of existing punitive measures imposed on Damascus since 2011.
US-imposed sanctions on the war-torn nation have contributed to the tragedy of the Syrians at a time when the country is in the midst of a major humanitarian crisis, with the US occupation and the Kurdish Autonomous Administration controlling vast areas of lands rich in oil, gas, and crops in the northeast of the country, in addition to the Turkish occupation of other regions.
Late last year, the US congress approved yet another sanctions regime against Syria with the so-called Captagon Act, which “constitutes an integrated plan, security, political and economic, to penetrate more into the vicinity of Syria and encircle it and prevent access to raw materials,” according to Syrian researcher Bassam Abdullah.
Monday’s resolution came just weeks after the White House was forced to issue a temporary sanctions waiver for Syria to allow the unimpeded entry of humanitarian aid to the country.
It also coincided with the US occupation army’s latest oil smuggling operation in northeast Syria.