Vehicles could be seen queuing for hours at petrol stations in Damascus on Tuesday, as the latest US sanctions against Syria led to apparent fuel shortages.
Some drivers reportedly spent nearly six hours to get the gas tanks of their cars refilled, in what has been described as the lowest point in Syria’s gasoline crisis.
Speaking on the national television, Syria’s Oil Minister Bassam Touma blamed the United States’ Caesar Act for the crisis, which led to the collapse of the Syrian currency and a skyrocketing inflation, while the country was struggling to recover from its devastating conflict.
In June, the US enforced new sanctions on Syria under the Caesar Act, which is said to aim at increasing the pressure on the Syrian government to halt alleged attacks on civilians. The act sanctions anyone who provide support to, or deals with, the Syrian government or any of the entities it owns or controls.
The sanctions focus on three major sectors: the military, oil and gas, as well as reconstruction in the Syrian government-controlled areas. It also opens the door to sanctions on the Central Bank of Syria if the US Treasury finds it plays a role in money laundering.