US urged to lift Syria curbs over humanitarian grounds

DAMASCUS: The first batch of assistance from China arrived in earthquake-stricken Syria amid a wave of international humanitarian aid, but some of the most needed supplies, including medicines and food, have been blocked due to the US embargo, prompting mounting calls for the US to show sympathy to Syrians and lift sanctions against the country.
More than 21,000 were killed in Turkey and Syria as of press time Friday after catastrophic earthquakes struck the two countries earlier this week.
China’s first shipment of medical assistance arrived in Damascus on Thursday, with more on the way, the Global Times has learned.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a regular press briefing on Wednesday that China will provide emergency humanitarian aid worth 30 million yuan to Syria, which includes cash assistance of 2 million US dollars and relief materials urgently needed.
Aid from countries including Iran, Iraq, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Egypt, India and Venezuela has also arrived. Six trucks carrying “shelter items and non-food item kits, including blankets and hygiene kits” from the UN arrived the same day. However, the UN special envoy for Syria said on Thursday that earthquake-affected regions had received “nowhere near enough” lifesaving aid and warned that assistance must not be “politicized.”
The UN Refugee Agency told the Global Times on Friday that 10.9 million people have been affected by the earthquake in northwestern Syria. The immediate needs include food, shelter, non-food items and medicines.
After being racked by wars for more than 10 years with conflicts in some regions still ongoing, Syria is in desperate need of humanitarian assistance, and the bad weather has added to the urgency, Ding Long, a professor with the Middle East Studies Institute of Shanghai International Studies University, told the Global Times on Friday.
Regions affected by the earthquakes are under the control of the Syrian government and various opposition forces, and sanctions from the West, and the US in particular, have greatly hindered the rescue process, Ding said.
–The Daily Mail-Global Times news exchange item