Syria raises penalty on foreign currency use to seven years of hard labor

…by Press TV, Tehran

[ Editor’s Note: The loss of the initial US coalition Balkanization effort via its proxy terrorism war on Syria has morphed into a different kind of attack. Those in the chaos and destabilization business are layered up in options to make sure they stay in business.

Grinding a country down to crushing poverty creates a lot of regime change pressure, especially as the years flow by and families see no future. They will get desperate enough to jump on any horse going by to get out of despair.

The initial sanctions plan was to build support for a military coup. A lot of money was used to buy a lot of the Syrian military officers, setting up their entire families in SA. These are some of the people that had ISIS uniforms fighting the SAA, the command staff that got flown out on US choppers during retreats.

This was dinner at the end of our election day monitoring work in Homs, visiting the governor and five voting stations. Even the Syrian MPs stuffed themselves here like it was their last meal. They treated the monitors like royalty, simply out of relief of knowing we were not going to shit on them. Photo: Jim W. Dean – June 2014

Fortunately they were replaced by Hezbollah people and the Iranian Shia militias who came in originally to guard Holy sites which the Sunni jihadis were savaging.

Later they began training local defense forces so the army was not weakened by constant static defensive work, where their small guard units were picked off one by one.

This allowed SAA offensive formations to be built up, and later the Russians came in with new equipment, training, the planes, state of the art intelligence, which prepared them to go on the offensive without absorbing big casualties.

I had forgotten that the EU had been on board these crushing sanctions all along, despite their being a huge engine for the flood of refugees into Europe, so how stupid was that. The EU also has its own “gang that can’t shoot straight” problems, most recently exhibited with the “Bigfoot” legend INSTEX payment system for Iran, their pretend effort for the JCPOA.

I don’t have any sympathy for the EU anymore for being under the gun with Trump sanctions. Let them eat that bitter fruit and see how they like itJim W. Dean ]

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When I was there as an election monitor in 2014, the exchange rate made the Syrian pound just a step above Monopoly money. Now it is worse.

– First published … January 01, 2020 –

President Bashar al-Assad has increased the punishment for transacting in foreign currencies to seven years of hard labor, as part of the government’s efforts to prop up the Arab country’s pound.

A decree issued by President Assad “upped the penalty for anybody who deals in anything other than the Syrian pound for payments or any kind of commercial transaction,” the presidency said in a statement on Saturday.

The punishment, which also applies to transactions in precious metals, was stiffened from up to three years in detention to seven years of hard labor, as well as a fine, the statement read.

President Assad also increased fines for circulating information that seeks “to undermine confidence in the strength of the country’s currency,” the presidency said.

The Syrian pound has plummeted to 1,200 to the dollar on the black market in recent weeks, despite an official exchange rate fixed at 434 to the greenback. The rate stood at 47 pounds to the dollar in 2011, when the foreign-backed conflict broke out in Syria.

International sanctions against Syria, damage to the country’s industry from the nearly nine-year war and panicked Syrians sending their money abroad have pushed the currency down sharply. Prices for key staples such as sugar and rice have risen to record highs amid Western-backed sanctions against Damascus.

The devaluation of the Syrian pound has been exacerbated by a liquidity crisis in neighboring Lebanon, which has long served as a conduit for foreign currency into government-held areas of Syria.

According to the Financial Times, some 80 percent of wealthy Syrians keep their money in Lebanon, which has been hit by tough capital control since the protests erupted in October.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a former Syrian banker told the Middle East Eye (MEE) that the Lebanese crisis closed a major door for Syria to get dollars. The European Union has imposed harsh economic sanctions against Syria since 2011.

The sanctions currently in place against Syria include an oil embargo, restrictions on certain investments and a freeze of the assets of the Syrian central bank held in the EU. The EU bans also target dozens of companies linked to the government of President Assad.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. This is the same old tricks that’s been used before. Venezuela was one of the recent recipients of such monetary destruction, then it was all blamed on the Maduro government in the U.S. news media. How many other sovereign states have been the victims of Washington’s economic hit men?
    The sad fact is that the American people do not themselves, realize what’s being done to their own currency and the resulting collapse that’s headed our way. The resulting riots in the streets of every major city in America will make the Yellow Vests look like a Sunday school picnic.
    What goes around comes around.

  2. This Currency Manipulation for devaluation to create Chaos is Nothing New to USA but it’s a Decades Old ” Standard Operating Procedure ” as usual …….. Read ” Confessions of an Economic Hitman ” ……. See video Pompeo saying ” We Cheat We Lie “

  3. Such wickedness. No wonder the satanic, British, fascist leader, Oswald Mosely, was fanatically keen for a European superstate.

    Brexit or Remain, our main problem is that while our Deep State are hideous killers and thieves, the cynical imbecility of the alternative, atheist Labour, who blether on about everything under the sun, instead of concentrating on combating the economic rapine and pillage of the country by the Tories and discarded NuLab(c)’s detritus, would, like the Tories, break your heart within the first week.

    However, there is no social regeneration wthout a spiritual regeneration, a return to pervasive Christian values, taught from childhood. So, pervasive, in the past, many people, if not most, were actually unaware that its was those objective values, not their own decency that had formed their basic values.

    There are a number of regulars who post here who haven’t the faintest notion that the very origin of their outrage was the inculcation of Christian values in their childhood, most of the time, as if by osmosis, the air we breathed. Of course, it was always very imperfect, not least in he church, but only Christ was not a hypocrite.

    But without acknowledgement of Christ as the lynch-pin, our nature unaided by supernatural grace, ensures that our successes, such as they are will always be short-lived.

  4. Yeah, embargo, sanctions and hyperinflation. The same was with former Yugoslavia. When there was almost no place at their banknotes to print zeros. I’m afraid to recall, they had billion digits printed on their money.
    The same terrible story was with my country in 1998. When on monday you get a month salary and by wednesday all you can buy for this salary is a box of matches. My friend told me long time ago that he saved money to buy a car, but after that economy shock he could buy a sweet cake for his daughter. Terrible things…