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Emirati aid plane, Iranian oil tanker arrive in regime-held Syria amid ongoing economic crisis Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Emirati aid plane, Iranian oil tanker arrive in regime-held Syria amid ongoing economic crisis

The Emirati plane arrived at Damascus Airport [Getty File Image]

Date of publication: 8 April, 2021

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A plane carrying UAE aid and an Iranian oil tanker have arrived in Syria after the US said that its Caesar Act sanctions on the regime excluded humanitarian supplies.
A plane carrying Emirati aid landed in Damascus on Thursday morning while an Iranian tanker carrying petrol reportedly arrived at Banias port, potentially ending a paralysing fuel crisis in Syria, according to media reports.

The Syrian regime news agency SANA said the Emirati plane carried food aid and medical supplies intended to fight the coronavirus crisis.

There has been a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in Syria recently.

The Emirati aid came one day after the US Treasury Department said on its website that Caesar Act sanctions imposed on regime officials do not include food and medical supplies.

The US has previously said that the Caesar Act, which was passed in June 2020 in response to regime atrocities against civilians, only target the Assad regime and not the Syrian people.

After a decade of conflict which began with the brutal suppression of peaceful protests by the regime, the country is suffering multiple economic crises while an estimated 80 percent of Syrians live in poverty.

Read more: Bread queues and hunger in Assad's Syria

The United Arab Emirates restored full diplomatic relations with the Assad regime in 2018, after downgrading them in 2012 in response to the conflict.

Syria was suspended from the Arab League in November 2011. The UAE has been advocating for its return, saying that the Caesar Act sanctions pose a "big challenge" to this.

The Arabic edition of Russian news website RT also quoted an official of the regime's Syrian Company for Oil Transport as saying that a tanker carrying one million barrels of Iranian oil had arrived in Banias.

Syrian regime-held areas have suffered major shortages of fuel, with people queuing for hours to buy petrol and heating oil.

The crisis has exacerbated in the past three weeks.

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