The name “Caesar” is called on the US Penal Code, according to a former military map in the Syrian military police known of a pseudonym, “Caesar.” It managed to escape from Syria in the summer of 2013, carrying 55,000 horrific pictures showing bodies bearing signs of torture, according to the American administration.
The law imposes sanctions on the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the military and security establishment, and various institutions of the Syrian government, including ministers, deputies and others, in addition to individuals and companies that finance or assist the President.
The project also imposes penalties on Syrian factories, especially those related to infrastructure, military maintenance, and the energy sector. The law also targets military factories, infrastructure, and the central bank in Syria. It also allows punishing Russia and Iran if they continue to support the Syrian government.
The project continuously reminds Russia and Iran, and it hints at imposing sanctions on them linked to their support for the Syrian government, and clearly states that sanctions will also be imposed on Iranian and Russian officials who support the government.
The project also gives power to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to support organizations that collect evidence against people who have committed crimes against humanity in Syria from 2011 to today with a view to prosecuting them.
“Caesar to reduce tension in the region”
According to the economist Alaa Farhan, “Caesar law is a penal law that was proposed, according to the United States, in order to weaken the power of the Syrian regime which has become besieged from the whole world, and it must be adhered to in order to reduce tension in the region and save the blood of civilians, since the law it will apply to all those connected with the Syrian government.”
While everyone is awaiting the application of this law, many people wonder about the extent to which northern and eastern Syria will be affected by it, and the American envoy to the regions of northern and eastern Syria, William Robak, said that this law will exclude the areas of Autonomous Administration.
Despite the American envoy’s talk, north and east Syria is subjected to the policy of starvation and siege since the beginning of the Syrian crisis by the parties involved in the Syrian issue by closing the crossings with the region, including the Qamishlo crossing, “Nusaybin Gate,” and Tel Koçer/al-Yarobiya “Rabia” crossing linking northern and eastern Syria with Iraq.
These crossings were closed by the Iraqi and Turkish authorities that argued that they only deal with governments despite the fact that they opened Girê Spî crossing during the period of ISIS’ occupation of the city, and opened crossings in cities controlled by the Turkish mercenaries such as Jarabulus, Azaz and Idlib.
Autonomous Administration: The political and economic uncertainty of the coalition undermines the fight against terrorism
Although William Robak said that the law excludes the regions of northern and eastern Syria, there are no US or international steps by the international coalition to indicate this so far, and in this context the Deputy Co-chair for the Autonomous Administration Bedran Çia Kurd says: “The international coalition has field strategic partners on the ground and they have been fighting terrorism together since the battle of Kobane, and achieved great victories in the interest of the international community. This battle is still ongoing and has turned the regions of northern and eastern Syria into a global center to combat international terrorism. These victories cannot be sustainable and firm if not accompanied by political and economic transformations.
Çia Kurd said: “The ambiguity on the last two levels will undermine the international efforts to combat terrorism from the military point of view as well.”
He added: “In light of the imposition of Caesar's sanctions on Damascus, taking the situation of northern and eastern Syria into account with regard to combating terrorism is required in the first place, and secondly, the Autonomous Administration’s regions and their population of more than five million have suffered a lot.”
“The coalition must break the economic blockade imposed on northern and eastern Syria”
On what the international coalition should do, Çia Kurd said: “It is incumbent on the international coalition to work to open the border crossings with Iraq to break the economic blockade imposed on these areas and secure cross-border trade facilities. The international organizations should be directed on the basis of humanitarian support to the region according to projects achieve the real contribution to developing the infrastructure of these regions. Also, the region’s support for reconstruction must be planned for without having to do with the reconstruction policy in other regions linked to Damascus’ positions and policies contradictory with the international community.”
“North and east Syria suffers from bank isolation with the outside”
Çia Kurd explained: “The region has been suffering from financial and banking isolation with the external environment, the Central Bank of Syria has been under sanctions since years, and finally the Caesar Law, and originally it had no role in the region during this crisis, so it requires finding a necessary solution to pave the way for working on issues we mentioned above.”
“There are theoretical promises from the international coalition, but there is ambiguity in the mechanisms”
Regarding the promises made by the international coalition and Washington to support the region, Bedran Çia Kurd said: “So far, we have received theoretical promises from the international coalition that the sanctions will not include this region, so we consider this stand positively, but there is no clarity in the practical mechanisms that can be relied upon to spare this region. We believe that the ambiguity in the economic plans is linked to the political ambiguity of the United States’ strategies towards the region.”
“North and east Syria will be affected by sanctions and the administration will not be mortgaged to the theoretical statements”
Çia Kurd said that in any case, there will be an impact of the US sanctions on northern and eastern Syria in various forms because the region is part of Syria, and still deals in the Syrian currency, along with dollars non-mainly.
He added: “Therefore, the Autonomous Administration cannot depend on the theoretical statements. It is necessary for it to discuss and take matters seriously, and search for exits within their limited energies, even though the crisis exceeds the administration’s energies to a large extent. It cannot bring radical solutions to the repercussions of Caesar’s sanctions which are a continuation of the collapse of the Syrian economy faster. The Autonomous Administration’s measures in this regard will be a process of alleviating the suffering of the crisis’ impact.”
What are the plans to alleviate the suffering of the crisis?
Regarding the Autonomous Administration’s plans to face the sanctions, Çia Kurd said: “There are plans to control the financial markets to block the way before hard currency brokers, plans to control shopping markets to prevent exploitation and control the prices and materials by the greedy. There will be consumption institutions and monitoring and follow-up committees for financial and commodity deliberations, and also will maintain management over the prices of basic materials and services it provides at symbolic, supportive, and competitive prices.”
He emphasized that the economic institutions in the Autonomous Administration will work to encourage the citizen to develop the medium economic projects of an economic nature consistent with the economic fundamentals of the region with supportive facilities by the Administration in accordance with the principle of self-sufficiency.
Bedran Çia Kurd said that all these measures are linked to the availability of social and national awareness to achieve the desired results, and not only the administrative measures.