ISSN 2330-717X

Syria: Oil Minister Says Sanctions Cost Country $4 Billion


Syria’s oil minister acknowledged the heavy toll international sanctions have taken on the country’s oil sector, saying Wednesday, May 23, that they had sucked about $4 billion from the economy, the Associated Press reported.

Sufian Allaw said the sanctions levied by the United States and the European Union to put pressure on President Bashar Assad were to blame for the shortages that have left Syrians across the country standing in long lines to pay inflated prices for cooking gas and other products.

Before the Syrian uprising began in March 2011, the oil sector was a pillar of Syria’s economy, with oil exports – mostly to Europe – bringing in $7-8 million per day, according to David Schenker of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. This income was key to maintaining the $17 billion in foreign reserves that the government had at the start of the uprising.

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