Haytham Rahmeh, Secretary-General of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), accused the Assad regime and its supporters of capitalizing on the recent earthquake disaster to improve its image and gain relief from Western sanctions. He emphasized that international aid is exempt from Western sanctions, which target the regime’s leadership, security apparatus, and criminal militia.
Rahmeh dismissed claims that sanctions have negatively impacted the Syrian people, stating that conditions in regime-held areas were a result of corruption and greed, not sanctions. He cautioned against lifting sanctions on the regime, warning that it would enable further oppression of Syrians.
While acknowledging that the earthquake affected northwestern Syria, an area beyond regime control, Rahmeh lamented that aid distribution had primarily benefited regime-held areas. He called for strict oversight mechanisms to prevent regime theft and misuse of aid, and for multiple border crossings to be utilized for aid delivery.
Rahmeh stressed the urgent need for aid to reach the hundreds of thousands in need in northwestern Syria, despite the regime’s attempts to exploit the earthquake for its own benefit.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)