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Syria’s Assad will seize post-quake opportunities

Friday, February 17, 2023


The disaster that has left over 40,000 people dead in south-eastern Turkey and north-western Syria has given Assad an opportunity to bolster his position through deeper political and financial engagement with the international community.


  • Assad will look to take advantage of the emergency response from his neighbours to build long-term political and economic ties.
  • Temporary US, and potentially EU, sanctions waivers could lead to negotiations about permanent easing of some restrictions.
  • The central bank’s exchange rate reforms will bring more hard currency into official channels, weakening the black market.
  • The UN will be risk-averse as it delivers aid, but deference to Damascus and Moscow may make it a target for salafi-jihadist groups.

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