Assad Regime Rejects US Offer, Famine is Looming

There is no difference between starving or dying of coronavirus, this is what Ahmed said during a phone call with MENA Research and Study Center, in which he described the miserable situation of the civilians in Damascus.

Ahmed’s conversation represents 90% of the people, whose life is on stake, as they might die because of hunger. This indicates that we are about to witness a humanitarian catastrophe, a real famine that might force some people to loot and maybe kill just for food.

Families are so desperate, says Ahmed who has seen some families fighting on the leftovers outside a fast food restaurant in Damascus.

This crisis has not emerged suddenly, it is the result of decades of corruption in the Assad regime, in addition to the war that has started nine years ago, followed by the consequences of the US Caesar Act.

“During the past 24 hours, the Damascus Police HQ received more than 1850 complaints for stealing cell phones, purses and wallets,” a policeman told MENA Study and Research Center, asking how the situation will look like in the following days, amid the decrease of the Syrian pound’s value and increase in the US dollar value, which coincides with a dramatic rising in food prices.

US-Syrian Negotiations, known by Russia

Reliable sources have confirmed to MENA  Study and Research Center that the reports about negotiations between the Syrian regime and the US are true, and they aim at getting out of the crisis and mitigating the effects of the Caesar sanctions on Syria.

The disagreement was about the time limit, as the regime claimed that the time given by the US is not enough for reforms, and it not enough for starting a transitional phase, according to MENA Study and Research Center’s sources.

Last Sunday, the US Special Envoy to Syria, James Jeffry, declared that his country made a proposal for the Syrian President to avoid the rapid collapse of the Syrian economy, a few days before putting the Caesar Act into force.

Jeffrey attributed  during his meeting with the organizations of US for Free Syria and the Syrian US Council the decline in the value of the Syrian pound to the measures taken by the US, stressing that the collapse in the Syrian pound is an evidence that Russia and Iran are no longer able to support the Assad regime.

The US envoy said that his country has offered Assad a way to get out of this crisis, “if he is interested in his people, he will accept the offer, because Washington wants to see a political process and it may not lead to a regime change, it demands changing its behavior and not providing shelter to terrorist organizations, providing Iran with a base to reinforce its influence in the region,” Jeffery said.

He summarized the US policy in Syria with four goals, including “a political process that leads to changing the behavior of the regime, the United Nations should be the leader of that political process and Washington will support it, the defeat of the Islamic State (ISIS), and finally, Iran’s withdrawal from Syria.”

What did the Assad regime say about the US offer?

The Assad regime has responded to the US offer through a source from the Foreign Ministry, affirming that “the statements of the US envoy to Syria are a clear admission by the US administration of its direct responsibility in the Syrians’ suffering.”

The Foreign Ministry’s source said that tightening the sanctions would be the other side of the declared war on Syria. It stressed that US policy will fail again against the Syrians’ insistence to protect the sovereignty of their homeland and the independence of their political and economic options.

“Jeffry’s demands are old Israeli demands that are now renewed to impose the US influence in the region,” MENA’s source added.

If the international legitimacy and Arab solidarity are true, the US administration would have to be held accountable for its policy targeting the Syrian people in their daily life,” Syria’s Foreign Ministry said in the statement.

The proposal’s other terms were not revealed, although it does not touch on Assad’s future, it just demands a change in the regime’s behavior.

This response comes, while hundreds of people are protesting in the city of Sweida, shouting slogans against Assad, due to the miserable economic situation and the dramatic decrease in the value of the Syrian pound, which exceeded 3000 S.p for $1.

Russian agrees to dialogue

On June 9, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced its willingness to hold a dialogue with the US on Syria and on preventing serious military accidents, drawing on the Syrian experience.

 The Russian position was made public by Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, in a press conference on Russian-US foreign relations, and Moscow’s interest in working with the United States to improve agreements on preventing serious military accidents on the basis of experience gained in Syria in this field, according to Russian media.

About the dialogue with US for Syria, he said: “We will expand the dialogue with the US, and if they respond, we are ready,” adding that they are carrying out “a very intensive and professional dialogue with the US through military channels, and working to solve conflicts. This is a good experience.”

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