The House this week voted overwhelmingly in favor of a resolution to maintain sanctions on Syria following a devastating earthquake that has killed at least 5,900 people in the country, The Cradle reported on Wednesday.
The resolution calls for the Biden administration to remain committed to “implementing the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019,” a law that imposed crippling sanctions on Syria that are designed to prevent the country from rebuilding after years of war.
After initially claiming sanctions wouldn’t hurt the relief effort, the Biden administration issued a 180-day sanctions exemption for transactions related to earthquake relief. UN experts responded by welcoming the move but said it wasn’t enough and called for the sanctions to be fully lifted.
Business Insider covered Greene and Massie voting against the resolution but completely mischaracterized the bill. The report said they voted against “mourning the 50,000 people killed in the deadly earthquakes in Turkey and Syria” and made no mention of the fact that it supported maintaining crushing sanctions on Syria.
The Biden administration has said it’s against regional countries upgrading ties with the Assad government, even if it’s part of an effort to aid in earthquake relief. On top of the sanctions and opposing Syria’s engagement with its neighbors, the US maintains an occupation force of about 900 troops in eastern Syria and backs the Kurdish-led SDF in the region, allowing the US to control about one-third of Syrian territory. The area the US controls is where most of the country’s oil resources are, keeping the vital resource out of the hands of Damascus.