Syria says it won’t ‘bow’ to US sanctions

Syria refuses to “bow” to Washington’s demands under the latest US sanctions, Foreign Minister Walid Muallem says, charging that the sole aim was to undermine support for President Bashar Assad.

“If they (Washington) dreamt that Syria and its people would bow to their conditions, then I would say let them keep dreaming because this will never happen,” Muallem tells a news conference in Damascus, nearly a week after the Caesar Act came into force.

The sanctions laid down in the law, according to US officials, aim to force Assad to accept UN Security Council Resolution 2254 of 2015 that calls for a ceasefire, elections and political transition in Syria.

But the real objective is “to influence upcoming presidential elections” in Syria scheduled for next year, Muallem says, and weaken support for Assad ahead of polling.

“President Assad will remain as long as the Syrian people want him to,” the foreign minister stresses.

Assad, a dictator backed by Russia and Iran, has won back control of most of Syria after a nine-year war that has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced over half of the country’s prewar population.


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