Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is looking to acquire roughly $400 billion for Syrian restoration efforts from the Russian government. The Syrian president met with a delegation of Russian government officials over the weekend where he expressed that 7 years of war has badly damaged the country’s infrastructure. The “infrastructure recovery” will take the amount specified and repairs spanning somewhere between 10 and 15 years to complete. Dimitry Sabljin, who is a member of the delegation that met with Assad, confirmed to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti that Russian based gas and oil companies would would be welcomed by the regime while western ones would not.
With a fiscal budget for nearly $6.2 billion, the Syrian government can not come anywhere close to their goal without utilizing external aid and the private sector. The United States Central Intelligence Agency states, “Syria’s economy has deeply deteriorated amid the ongoing conflict that began in 2011, declining by more than 70 percent from 2010 to 2017,” and, “As of December 2017, approximately 13.1 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in Syria, with 6.3 million people displaced internally, and an additional 5.4 million registered Syrian refugees, making the Syrian situation among the largest humanitarian crises worldwide,” on their website; summarizing the problem.
SANA, a Syrian state sponsored media outlet, said that during the meeting the recent missile attacks by the United States was discussed as well. The attack was claimed to be centered around disinformation and lies by the western governments of the world. They agency also claimed that Syria and Russia are combating “terrorism” and seek to, “protect international law based on respect for sovereign states and the will of their people.” According to SANA, President Assad stressed the need for the two nations to build/maintain economic and governmental coordination in the face of the, “redrawing of the global political map.”
The Assad regime has claimed that the chemical weapons attack it has been accused of is a fabrication created by Syrian opposition activists. The United States led airstrikes on Syria received mixed responses from within the Middle Eastern community. While the Turkish government was quick to support the move, Iraq was not so accepting. The foreign minister, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, of Iraq has expressed concern over the recent airstrikes in Syria by the United States and it’s partners. After attending a meeting in Saudi Arabia with other middle eastern country based ministers he said, “An airstrike on Syria would be horrendous and regretful, and a catastrophic defeat in the real sense of the word. It will put all world countries in jeopardy,” during a press conference. He continued with, “While we were asleep last night, the whole Syrian people, especially women and children, were shivering with fear over the possibility of a foolish assault.” He added that his country would not tolerate this “foolish move” in reference to any further transgressions.
Featured Image Courtesy of the Kremlin