Feature: Lebanon's Syrian refugees urge for lifting U.S. sanctions on Syria after deadly earthquake

(Xinhua) 11:09, February 10, 2023

BEIRUT, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Sarah Abu Mashlab, a displaced Syrian woman living in a refugee camp in Lebanon, was stunned and extremely sad to see the collapse of buildings in her hometown, where her old parents and brother still live.

"Since the earthquake, I've lost contact with them, as their mobile phones are out of service. I pray that they are well," the thirty-something woman told Xinhua.

Jawad Abu Asali, a Syrian displaced from Hama, one of the quake-stricken areas, said they were closely following the situation in Syria through television, radio, and social media, and "everything we hear or see is worrying," he said.

"We, as displaced persons, regret the siege imposed on our country by the state of aggression, America, which limits the delivery of aid to the stricken areas in dire need of support after this disaster," he said.

The same is true for Jalal Abu Al-Saud, a sergeant in charge of the camp, who could not get in touch with his 80-year-old mother and his relatives living in Latakia, northern Syria.

He called on all international bodies to support the rescue crews and the thousands of injured people.

"The brutal U.S. blockade surrounding Syria from every direction will limit rescue work, and this will inevitably lead to a higher number of victims," he said.

"We hold America, the country of aggression, accountable for the blood of many of our people who are still underneath the rubble, awaiting their rescue, in the severe cold and heavy rains which increase their suffering," he said.

Mohammad Hamdan, a lecturer at the Lebanese University, slammed the continued American blockade, saying it is not only "a war crime but rather a crime with the highest degree of brutality, not only against the Syrian people but also against the human conscience and mankind as a whole."

Hamdan called on Arab and international humanitarian organizations to "break this brutal blockade" and urged the Security Council and the United Nations to "take a firm stance that drops the unjust measures against Syria and opens the way for providing all kinds of aid and relief to the afflicted Syrian people."

"America serves with its global policy the interests of its military companies and their aspirations to sustain wars and oppress people who reject American subjugation in the era of globalization and American imperial control," political researcher Mounir Mhanna told Xinhua.

He said that the siege imposed by the United States on Syria is not justified after the catastrophic earthquake, adding that increasing pressure would raise the number of deaths.

"America is facing a decisive moral test, as no laws prevent it from helping Syria after this catastrophe," he said.

According to data released by authorities and rescuers, the death toll from Monday's devastating earthquake in Türkiye and Syria has surpassed 17,000.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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