Damascus Slams US Move to Allow Foreign Investment in Occupied Regions of Syria

Damascus Slams US Move to Allow Foreign Investment in Occupied Regions of Syria

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Syria slammed the US decision to allow foreign investment in regions of the Arab country controlled by militants from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The US Treasury Department cleared activities in 12 sectors in northern Syria on Thursday, including agriculture, construction, and banking, but said no transactions with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's administration or anyone identified under the so-called Caesar Act were allowed.

"The US Treasury Department's approval of economic activities in the northeastern and northwestern flanks of Syria is no surprise to the Damascus government, as successive US administrations are responsible for the devastating war that Syria has been through for more than a decade," the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said in a statement on Friday.

The ministry said Washington’s financial aid to Takfiri terrorist groups have wreaked havoc across northern Syria and ruined the Arab country’s economic prospects.

Such aid also resulted in the plunder of Syria's crude oil reserves, foodstuff and historical monuments, destruction of its economic infrastructure and murders of many innocent citizens who refused to collaborate with American and Western schemes, it added.

The latest US plan “is in continuation of Washington’s destructive approach towards our country, and runs contrary to its international commitments concerning the fight against terrorism, and respect to Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the ministry stated.

“The breakup of Syria was a US and Western scenario, which dismally failed in the face of the steadfastness of the Syrian army, nation and government,” the ministry pointed out.

The statement concluded by emphasizing that the Damascus government is determined to employ all available means in order to thwart the new conspiracy, calling on local residents in northern Syria to join forces.

Meanwhile, US officials said Washington's move should not be seen as helpful to efforts by some countries for Syria’s return to the Arab fold. They said Washington had no intention of lifting sanctions on the Damascus government.

“Private sector investment in these areas will help reduce the likelihood of ISIS (Daesh) resurgence by combating the desperate conditions that enable the terrorist groups’ recruitment and support network,” a senior US administration official said on condition of anonymity.

The US military has stationed forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists. Damascus says the deployment is meant to plunder the country's resources.

Former US president Donald Trump admitted on more than one occasion that American forces were in Syria for its oil.

After failing to oust the Syrian government through proxies and direct involvement in the conflict, the US government has stepped up its economic war on the Arab country.

In June 2020, the US enacted the so-called Caesar Act that imposed the toughest sanctions ever on Syria with the alleged aim of choking off revenue sources for the government.

The sanctions, however, have crippled the war-torn country’s economy by prohibiting foreign companies from trading with Damascus.

Syria says the real purpose of the measures is to put pressure on Syrians and their livelihoods.

Officials also say the stepped-up smuggling of strategic Syrian resources is the latest inhumane tactic using people's basic needs as a tool to pressure the government.

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