The Real International Community must call for an End to the Illegal and Genocidal US Sanctions on Syria


The US continues to wage war upon the nations of the world by resorting to imposing economic sanctions. These sanctions are a continuation of war by other means, and the world has been witness to the disastrous and genocidal consequences of these illegal sanctions on Syria.

Whilst the US still considers itself to the ‘Caesar’ of the world, the global balance of power is clearly shifting towards the Global South, as the East continues to rise from centuries of European and US imperialism and colonialism.

It is essentially the Syrian war and the resistance of the Syrian nation that lies at the very heart, the very frontlines of this global struggle. The ‘Regime Change’ agenda launched in 2011, with its ‘CIA text book Colour Revolution’ in the guise of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, stands defeated due to the courageous resistance of the Syrian nation and their allies.

It was the Syrian battlefield that brought together the strategic alliance off Russia and Iran that, along with China, today forms the basis of the EurAsian integration, of which India too is an integral part. Today the SCO and the fast emerging BRICS-plus, provide a formidable and an alternate grouping to the Atlanticist alliance of the US-EU-NATO bloc, in political, economic and even military terms.

Thus when the US and its minions faced military defeat in Syria, they have resorted to the cowardly route of sanctions and are subjecting the Syrian people to ‘Collective Punishment’, with disastrous consequences for children, women, rather the entire population. Currently the US has imposed economic sanctions on 39 countries, affecting 1/3rd of humanity or at least 2.5 billion people []. This clearly is in contravention of the international law and conventions, namely the Geneva and Nuremberg Conventions, UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as they all prohibit the targeting of defenseless civilians, that include children, the old and the sick, especially in times of war.

The disastrous impact of the US sanctions on Syria have been recorded and exposed by none other than Alena F. Douhan, the UN Special Rapporteur on Sanctions. Under the CAESAR ACT, the US sanctions explicitly target the reconstruction of Syria, where now many cities towns and villages stand destroyed in the aftermath of the US-Israeli led war. The war has destroyed houses, schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, electric lines, transport infrastructure, rather all facets of civilian infrastructure, the rebuilding of precisely which the US sanctions target. Douhan terms the sanctions as illegal and only serves to deprive the Syrian civilians of their basic needs. Douhan further stated that ‘People shouldn’t die, people shouldn’t suffer, and people shouldn’t fear whether they can survive after tomorrow, because they have neither, medicine or food, because of the sanctions applied’. A clear indictment of another series of US’s genocidal war crimes.

Thus the initiative undertaken by the ‘Arab International Campaign to Lift the Siege on Syria’ is indeed a major step ahead and is indeed welcome. We need to further forge international alliances and build a global campaign on similar lines to the global campaign that has built support to end the sanctions on Cuba. It was in the UNGA meet held on 23rd June 2021, where the overwhelming nations of the world voted to end the sanctions on Cuba. Thus 184 nations, which included India, voted for the motion to end the sanctions, whereas the two rogue suspects, namely the US and Israel voted the other way. Both the rogue nations stood clearly isolated in the international community.

The global strategic balance in the aftermath of the US defeat and withdrawals from Afghanistan, Iraq, the continued resistance of the Syrian nation, even as Palestine continues to resist against all odds. The clear defeat that the US-NATO forces face in Ukraine at the hands of Russia, the rise of the Leftist governments across South America, are all testimony to a fast changing global order that now increasingly pivots towards the east. Syria lies at the very core of these momentous changes.

On our part, being integral to the global solidarity movement against imperialism and Zionism, it is indeed our duty to now build a global campaign to end the US sanctions on Syria.

[Feroze Mithiborwala is the Founder-National General Secretary of the India Palestine Solidarity Forum. He has also traveled to Syria prior to and during the course of the war and has written and held talks about the same]

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