Sanctions on Syria working

President Bashar Assad Pictures, Images and Photos Usually when we hear of the U.S. and Europe placing sanctions on some dictator-led country we often just roll our eyes and presume that it will not work. We have seen this happen many times in many places. North Korea is still led by a dictator, same with Iran and the same with Myanmar. However, there are signs that a recent article by Reuters points out (click here to read it) that Syria beginning to feel the effects of the sanctions the West has placed on it.

A few days ago the Syrian government decided to ban all imports except raw materials and foodstuffs. This is a major policy move for any country to make, but even more so for a country that doesn’t really produce many things that people need and use on a daily basis. Syrians will be familiar with these living conditions because the repressive government only relaxed these types of policies about five years ago. Since then the demand for many imported products has soared, as you would expect. The reason for this import ban is so that U.S. dollars that the government holds in reserve will not leave the country and instead go to low income people. This shows that the Syrian economy is crumbling.

Add to that a move by the European Union recently that bans crude oil imports from Syria into Europe and the economic story of Syria looks awful compared to any country. Syria heavily relies on EU oil exports as its main access to foreign currency. It appears that none of the measures that Syria will take will save their economy except bowing to international calls for President Assad to step down as his country’s┬ápeople want.

This is a positive turn of events for the Syrian people (in the long run) and for the world. It is important to show other dictators that sanctions can hurt and should be taken seriously. Now if only the sanctions on Iran would do as much damage as they are on Syria, the world would be in a far better place than it is right now.