Sovereignty and reconstruction or war and handouts

Syria as the theatre of the struggle for a multipolar world order.

The situation in Syria remains tense. The government is forced to cut subsidies on petrol, oil and diesel, the cost of transport and food is skyrocketing, the population is facing new hardships in basic services, and the Syrian pound continues to lose value. Salaries for doctors, teachers, army personnel, state employees and civil servants are being doubled, but people are in shock.

Protests in different parts of the country blame the government for the economic hardship. In Sweida, the capital of the Druze province in the south of the country, the governor admitted at a public rally on Thursday that the economic situation of the population was very serious and that the government was working to find solutions.

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The catastrophic earthquake forces all sides to rethink

The UN Security Council addressed the situation in Syria on Monday afternoon (NY local time) [13 February]. A “private meeting” and “non-public consultations” focused on how to get more aid to earthquake-affected areas in northern Syria and Syria’s coastal region as quickly as possible. In a preliminary report by the panel, in addition to a chronology of events since 6 February 2023, various positions were outlined that called for the Syrian government to open more border crossings from Turkey into north-western Syria.

In fact, the border between Syria and Turkey is not controlled by Syria except for one border crossing near Kassab in the west. All border crossings are controlled by Turkey and armed fighters allied with Turkey.

Published in Schweizer Standpunkt 21 February 2023:

Hunger and poverty in Syria – the result of Western blockade policy

January 2023. There is a jostle at the Lebanese Syrian border crossing at Masnaa. A long queue of Syrian taxies is waiting for clearance. In a second queue are Lebanese vehicles bringing travellers to Syria.

The Syrian taxies are lying low on the road, despite having only a few passengers. Their tanks are filled to the brim, and there is a gas bottle in the trunk. Only taxies are allowed to transport a full tank and a gas cylinder from Lebanon to Syria. Due to the lack of passengers, transporting petrol in their own tank and a gas bottle has become a good source of income for Syrian taxi drivers. Once home, the petrol is transferred from the tank into 10 liter bottles or canisters and then sold on the black market, i.e., on the side of the road or in the neighbourhood, for around 85,000 Syrian pounds (SYP, about $12.80).

The official exchange rate for 1 US dollar is currently 4500 SYP. The common and tolerated black market rate for 1 US dollar is 6500 SYP. Twelve years ago, at the beginning of the war, 1 US dollar cost 50 SYP.

Read more in Swiss Standpoint: E_International_Leukefeld_Hunger-and-poverty-in-Syria

Another kind of war: unilateral economic sanctions damage Syria

The war in Syria has largely come to a standstill, except in Idlib and other areas in the north of the country. A different kind of war is now raging, however, due to the unilateral economic punitive measures of the European Union and an oil embargo by the USA — an economic war.

Thanks to John Catalinotto the text has been translated into English. It has been published by TLAXCALA, an international translation network. It can be read here:

European Union’s „humanitarian“ hypocrisy

Representatives of the legitimate government of Syria were not invited to the Brussels „donor conference“

From March 12 to 14 Brussels hosted the third international donor conference of the European Union on Syria under the motto „Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region“. Formally, it was announced that the meeting focused on the issue of assisting „millions of Syrians“, as well as states and communities that gave them asylum.

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Civilian Kurds come under attack as Al Qaida seeks control in Syria

The interview with Russia Today was aired on August 8th, 2013 and can be
listened to here.

Syria’s history dates back to 9,000 years before the Christian era. It was part of an area between the southern Iraqi marshes in the Gulf, the Zagros Mountains in the East, the Mediterranean Sea in the West and the Sinai. State borders did not exist. Because of its agricultural development and irrigation culture and the area’s shape, it was called the „fertile crescent.“

A historical Perspective on the Current Crisis was published in Junge Welt (8.4.2011) and translated for www. It can be downloaded here.

We did not start the war

Interview with Mohammed Abdulsalam, speaker of the Houthi movement in Yemen
(Junge Welt, December 28, 2009)

Since August 2009 the Yemeni Government launches war against the Houthi Movement in the Northwest of the country. The Houthis live in the border area to Saudi Arabia, the Saudi army started to support the Yemeni government in November 2009. Mohammed Abdulsalam is speaker of the Houthi movement. For the Berlin based daily newspaper Junge Welt he answered questions of Karin Leukefeld (December 2009)

1. Can you explain our readers, who are the „Houthis“? Are you a tribe, a group of tribes, a party? What is your history.
We are a part of the Yemeni population and we represent a large component of it. Our history is known since it represents a big part of the Yemeni history in the culture, beliefs, and civilization. We are not a specific tribe but from all the Yemeni tribes. We are a nation that has a great history and many of scholars and thinkers. We have a pioneer Islamic history that is respected by all Muslim sects because of its justice and fairness and commitment to the Holy Quran. In our methodology, we respect differences and refuse disperse between Muslim communities. Also, we see that all Muslims should come back to reunification and adhering to the Qur’an as the book of Allah.

Killing the two-state-solution

Medical doctor Mustafa Barghouti (55) works and lives in Ramallah, Occupied Palestinian Territories. In the government of national unity (March-May 2007) under Prime Minister Ismail Hanijeh, Mustafa Barghouti was Minister of Information. The interview was conducted via phone on February, 6th, 2009 by Karin Leukefeld. A german abridgement was published in the Berlin daily Junge Welt (7.2.2009).

Have you been to the Gaza Strip after the war? What did you see?
Yes, I was there for a week, I came back 4 days ago and what I’ve seen is just indescribable. First of all I saw devastation that never happened in this region before. I think the scene I’ve seen could only be compared with what happened in Second World War in some places. What I’ve seen is not only the death of 1340 people, mainly civilians, 87 percent of them are civilians and 50 percent of them are children and women, there are 410 children killed. About 5300 people injured, again mostly civilians, with a big number of children. The shooting on the people of Gaza was clearly indiscriminate. Weiterlesen