WASHINGTON, D.C. / DARAMSUQ (DAMASCUS) — During a Monday press conference, U.S. Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey accused Russia of propping up Syria’s Assad regime, whose near decade long civil war, corruption, and mismanagement of the national economy has pushed the country to the brink of collapse.
The current state of Syrian affairs poses a significant risk to the stability of its neighbor countries, especially Lebanon, said Jeffrey.
Lebanon has witnessed its own dire political and economic crises recently, exacerbated by the horrific explosion at Beirut’s port which killed at least 177 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused between € 8–15 billion in property damage, leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless.
Jeffrey attributed the collapse of the Syrian economy to Russia’s support for the Syrian regime, politically and militarily. He also doubted the credibility of Moscow’s desire to reach a comprehensive solution in Syria.
Russian media reported that the Syrian government treasury is now empty of foreign currency following months of deterioration of the Syrian Pound.
The former head of the Syrian Cabinet of Ministers, Imad Khamis, declared in a speech before the Syrian Parliament that the treasury of the Central Bank had become empty. In addition, the assets of the Syrian Central Bank had shrunk during the first years of the Syrian war and the daily oil production, which was 380,000 barrels, is now essentially zero.