Subjects – Syria Report



Since the arrival of the new Indian ambassador Irshad Ahmad to Syria last October, Mr Ahmad has stepped up the economic diplomacy efforts - with a significant number of meetings with government officials and the business community - hinting at an increased interest of New Delhi in Syria’s economic future.
The United States has doubled down on its Syria sanctions strategy with the passing of the ‘Assad Regime Anti-Normalization Act of 2023’ at the House of Representatives on February 14. This bill aims to actively oppose normalisation efforts between foreign states and Bashar Al-Assad’s government; it broadens the scope of the Caesar Act sanctions and extends them until December 31, 2032.  The Anti-Normalization Act expands Caesar Act sanctions to entities owned or controlled by a sanctioned person and adult family members of a sanctioned foreign person.
The Near East Foundation, a non-governmental organisation headquartered in New York, has established Siraj Financial Services. This microfinance lender will operate exclusively in northern Syria. SFS plans to build a portfolio of 23,300 active clients and a gross loan portfolio of USD 18 million by 2027, while it is seeking to raise USD 15 million in grant funding and more than USD 10 million through several funding schemes.
Earlier this month, Iraq accused Syria of obstructing the Euphrates River flow into Iraqi territory, leading to a water diplomacy clash between Baghdad, Damascus and the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria.
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Firas Hassan Qaddour announced during an event organised by the ministry its plan to increase the annual phosphate production to 10 million tonnes, Tishreen reported on February 10.