Bashar al-Assad: Western Sanctions Create ‘Big Obstacles’ for Return of Refugees to Syria

Over 5 million people are believed to have fled Syria following the military conflict in the country that has been ongoing since 2012.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that the United States and its Western colleagues are hindering the return of Syrian refugees to their motherland.

“But there are big obstacles, besides the pressure that Syrian refugees are subjected to abroad to prevent their return; there are illegal economic sanctions and blockades imposed by the American regime or its allies,” he added. 

The president added that the problem of refugees returning is not simply a “humanitarian issue” but also a “national problem” for the country, as many more people were now willing to return to the state.

“They refuse to be a number in politically-motivated statistics or a pawn in the hands of the regimes that support terrorism against their home country,” Assad announced.

Over Five Million Refugees Displaced

Syria has been shaken by military conflict since 2011, with Daesh* insurgents taking control of much of the country in 2015; the terrorist group was almost entirely defeated three years later.

Millions of people have been displaced since then, becoming refugees in other countries, inlcuding neighbouring Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. Millons more are internally displaced, according to the UNHCR.

The return of refugees has now become one of the Syrian government’s primary concerns. In October, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem confirmed that the government…

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