Kurdish authorities in Syria in talks over exemption from US sanctions
BEIRUT (LEBANON) – Kurdish authorities in northeastern Syria are in talks with their military allies in a US-led coalition over a proposed exemption from Washington’s sanctions targeting the Syrian government, said a senior Kurdish official.
According to Washington, the sanctions which took effect last week mark the beginning of a sustained campaign of economic and political pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to stop the war.
Northeastern Syria is in the control of Kurdish militia who have helped the US-led coalition fight the Islamic State.
Badran Jia Kurd, a vice president of the regional administration, said the sanctions would affect his area which trades with government-held Syria via local merchants and uses the Syrian pound.
“They will lead to increase in prices to a very great degree and to weakness in trade activity with the Syrian interior, while on the other hand crossings to Iraq are closed, meaning the region was already living an economic siege,” Jia Kurd said.
“They told us the self-administration regions will be exempt from the Caesar sanctions but the mechanisms and means to achieve this exemption are being discussed with the international coalition.”
The sanctions are named after a Syrian military photographer who smuggled thousands of photos out of Syria, showing mass killings, torture and other crimes.
“We hope there will be international support for our regions given that they are fighting a continuing war against global terrorism,” Jia Kurd wrote.
(Photos syndicated via Reuters)
This story has been edited by BH staff and is published from a syndicated field