Emirati aid, Iranian oil arrive in crisis-hit Syria
The Syrian regime news agency SANA said the Emirati plane carried food aid and medical supplies intended to fight the coronavirus crisis.
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.