On Sunday June 20, the Samuel Robinson Institute for Original Thought in Caracas broadcast an interview with Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, political and media advisor to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
In a segment of the interview, Shaaban explained how the war against the Syrian people has different facets: military, economic, and informational. In the military sphere, she noted that, although the vast majority of Syrian territories have been recovered from terrorism, the US military occupies part of northeastern Syria; the Turkish army, with the collaboration of terrorist groups, occupies part of northwestern Syria; and the Golan Heights are under military occupation by Israel since 1967.
The terrorists are pursuing a proxy war as the instruments of those Western countries, and of Israel, that targeted Syria. Once those terrorists failed to achieve their objectives, the US soldiers and the Turkish soldiers arrived, and then it changed from a proxy war to a war with the invading countries’ own armies.
Regarding the economic facet of the war, which is now in full swing with the imposition of unilateral coercive measures by the United States through the Caesar Act, the Syrian official said that economic blockade is the means by which those countries try to achieve what they failed to achieve by military means:
They started an economic war against the Syrian people by what they call the Caesar Act, which—whatever they say about it—is really a war crime against the Syrian people, hoping that they will be able to achieve through this what they could not achieve through the military war, [through] the military aggression that they led against Syria.
As with Venezuela, the West claims that the “sanctions” against Syria do not affect the civilian population, but are designed to put pressure on the government of Bashar al-Assad. Bouthaina Shaaban refutes this narrative and highlights the magnitude of the crime, considering that it attacks a nation that is trying to overcome ten years of war carried out by the same sources that are executing the economic coercive measures:
We cannot import medicines, we cannot import food, we cannot import spare parts, you know—I mean, they say things which are absolutely not true. The other day, an American said, ‘The Syrian oil is the property of the Syrian people and we do not have any right to touch the Syrian oil,‘ while their trucks are stealing the oil from our land. So I think there is a big difference between what they say and the reality. The Caesar Act is directed against the Syrian people, it is really a kind of collective punishment against the Syrian people, preventing them from getting their daily needs in the hope that they will turn against their government. But the people have shown great support for their government and challenge those who try to break their will.
Shaaban emphasized that the main challenge facing the country in its physical reconstruction is the so-called Caesar Act, which Syria labels as illegal due the unilateral nature of its imposition by the US government, without approval of the United Nations Security Council, or respect for international law:
The major obstacle in the way of reconstruction is the Caesar Act, because the Caesar Act is so vicious… It not only imposes measures against Syria, but imposes measures against any party who deals with Syria, or any company that would like to export things to Syria, and therefore, of course, many of these companies will be afraid to do business with Syria. And that is really horrible. Especially as the Caesar Act and all the unilateral measures against Syria—they are illegal, because they were not passed by the Security Council; they are actually American sanctions, decided by the American government, by the American Congress, and they want the entire world to obey their will, and if anyone doesn’t, they will punish the same party just as they punish Syria. I mean, it is really the law of the jungle if you think about it—no international system, no international law!
Featured image: Samuel Robinson Institute featured an exclusive interview with Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban, media and policy advisor to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune