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Economic - Essay Example

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Multitudes of innocents have perished due to Islamic extremists, who have exploited the conflict to establish their presence in Syria. The country is bordering on the abyss of…
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Syrian conflict The civil war in Syria has become a humanitarian and political catastrophe for the Middle East nation. Multitudes of innocents have perished due to Islamic extremists, who have exploited the conflict to establish their presence in Syria. The country is bordering on the abyss of disintegration into ethno-religious regions. The war also represents a brutal Sunni-Shiite regional power struggle between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, on one side and Iran on the other side. All of those aspects have received a fair amount of attention in the West. Syrias civil war continued late into 2012, renewed efforts by the international community to ease the suffering, notwithstanding. The Assad regime, as well as the rebel forces, violated an otherwise, failed UN - backed cease-fire, led by the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Koffi Anan, in late October. The fighting has heightened in neighbouring Lebanon, home to Iran-backed Hezbollah, and prompted cross-border shelling between Syria and Turkey. The unrest also proved to be an attraction for global jihadists like the al-Qaeda-linked groups, fighting for the formation of an Islamist state (Landis 75).
Following the Syrian civil war, the Arab League acted swiftly and immediately suspended Syrian membership to the organization, In addition, the league imposed imposed stringent economic embargos in November 2011(Masters). Despite the lack of support from Syria’s friendly nations like Russia, the sanctions have had a noticeable economic impact. The European Union sanctions have also served to redefine partnerships with other powers, both globally and in the Middle East. The EU, supported by the US sanctions, initially asked Al-Assad to negotiate with the opposition to cease repression, and leave office as from August 2011 (Balfour). The sanctions against Syria are unprecedented since they accumulated the whole set in just a few months. Some of the notable sanctions entail an energy embargo. Prior to the embargo, the EU’s import of Syrian crude was worth over €3 billion a year, mostly to Italy and Germany. The economic sanctions have had a significant impact on the Syrian economy. Oil is the mainstay of the Syrian economy, and the Western ban has exacted a heavy toll on the country. In view of these developments, Sufian Allaw, the Wyrian oil minister, indicated that the imposed restrictions cost the country about $4 billion (“Syria Says”).
The United States also placed a range of sanctions on Syria that prevent aid and restrict bilateral trade. Before the crisis, the Syria Accountability act (2004) had already placed stringent embargoes on Syria with the crisis leading to an upscale of these sanctions. In this regard, the Executive Orders under the Obama presidency have also been directed at Syrian individuals and entities. These orders, among them the Executive Orders 13572 and 13573, were instituted to freeze the property of high-ranking Syrian and Iranian officials in the US, including President Assad. In addition, Executive Order 13582 froze all U.S. assets of the Syrian government, barred U.S. persons from doing business with the Assad regime, and prohibited U.S. imports of Syrian petroleum products (“Factbox”).
EU officials have reportedly indicated that the sanctions package “seems to make the functioning of the government more difficult” and “causes significant anxiety and concern to the Syrian regime” (Mahony). The key sanction is the oil embargo since most of Syrias oil found market to the key region of the European Union. This, along with the restrictions in the banking sector, constitutes the only measure, which is reportedly fulfilling its objective of depriving the regime of key revenue (Landis). The year 2011 saw negative growth (estimated at - 2%), and with the decrease in tax and tourism revenues, as well as oil, the fiscal deficit should increase to 11%, attributable to conflict and the international sanctions, according to the EIB. The GDP reportedly contracted by 3.4% during 2011, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.
Based on the foregoing, the inability of the Syrian government to solve this conflict has led to sanctions on the country, the government, and individual leaders. Nonetheless, the Syrian economy has greatly suffered the effects of this crisis. In addition, the humanitarian crisis has made governments and various organizations in the world respond differently with an aim of seeing this crisis end.
Works Cited
Balfour, Rosa. EU Conditionality after the Arab Spring. EIMed: Barcelona. 2012. Print.
“FACTBOX-Sanctions imposed on Syria.” AlertNet. 2 Dec. 2011. Web. 19 Nov. 2012.
.
Landis, Joshua. The Syrian Uprising of 2011: Why the Assad Regime is likely to
survive to 2013. Middle East Policy 19.1 (2012): 72-84. Print.
Mahony, Honor. EU Ministers set to beef up Syria arms embargo. EU Observer. 20 July
2012. Web. 19 Nov. 2012. .
Masters, Johnson. What you need to Know about the Syrian Crisis. nbcnews. 25 Jul. 2012.
Web. 19 Nov. 2012. .
“Syria Says sanctions have cost country $4B.” CBS News. 23 May 2012. Web. 19 Nov.
2012. . Read More
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