US lifts sanctions on Syria not to hinder relief efforts

US lifts sanctions on Syria not to hinder relief efforts
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All transactions related to earthquake relief will be allowed for six months, US Treasury Department has said.

US Department of Treasury announced on Thursday lifting of sanctions on Syria for a period of six months to allow transactions related to earthquake relief.

"As international allies and humanitarian partners mobilize to help those affected, I want to make very clear that US sanctions in Syria will not stand in the way of life-saving efforts for the Syrian people," Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said, adding:

"While US sanctions programs already contain robust exemptions for humanitarian efforts, today Treasury is issuing a blanket General License to authorize earthquake relief efforts so that those providing assistance can focus on what's needed most: saving lives and rebuilding."

Adeyemo noted that this move expands humanitarian authorizations already in effect under the Syrian Sanctions Regulations for NGOs, international organizations, and the US government.

As of Friday, 3,773 fatalities have been reported in Syria by Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). Nearly 4,000 have been reported injured.

According to SOHR, 1,653 people died in government-controlled areas, mostly in Latakia and Aleppo, and 2,120 in areas controlled by armed factions, including hundreds of fatalities in Jindires.