Sanctions on Syria Hurt Ordinary People




Franklin Lamb, a US author, lawyer and Professor of International Law, has recently visited Damascus to do a research on the impacts of the Western sanctions imposed on Syria. 

He questioned the legality of these sanctions and showed how terrible their effects were on Syrian families.

Discussing the sanctions issue with some officials, traders and even students, Lamb found out that the sanctions imposed on Syria are “illegal under international customary law and should be outlawed by an international convention because they are political, rather obviously designed to achieve regime changes.”

He came up with a result that sanctions are also “fundamentally indiscriminate targeting and endangering innocent civilian population particularly the poor.”

Lamb criticized as nonsense the claims made in Washington and Europe that the increasing layers of sanctions target only the “regime’s leader” and its policies. He stressing that those seriously affected are actually the ordinary people not the government officials, reminding in this connection of the case in Iraq “where US organized sanctions have been found to be a main cause of nearly 500,000 deaths of children.”

According to Lamb, the sanctions, designed for application to Syria, also violate the UN Charter which commands that all members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.

Explaining what the situation is under the unjust sanctions, Lamb quoted one of his interviewees, who seemed very upset by the tremendous effect of the sanctions, particularly on prices, as saying: “prices have risen at least 40 percent on average, especially consumer goods and basic food, like meat, milk, bread, vegetables, fruits etc. Eggs and chicken have doubled in price and are unavailable in some small shops. Lines are getting longer at some gas stations in some parts of Damascus. The sanctions have also forced many people to close their factories in Damascus and Aleppo, because of lack of raw materials, and the spiral increase in their prices. Besides, some of the Syrian youth are considering travelling because of the lack of job opportunities and frustration. Some of the idle young are joining gangs and being recruited by “jihadists” groups offering cash and weapons along with indoctrination.”

The interviewee pointed out that this crisis has also “forced employers to discharge people to cut down expenses and warmongers have benefitted from the crisis.

Lamb’s research sums up the issue by stressing that the Western-imposed sanctions have hurt the ordinary Syrian people more than the government by far.


Hamda Moustafa