IRGC Quds Force commander in Aleppo to supervise aid delivery

The Cradle, February 9, 2023 — Aid deliveries for Syria have been hampered by crushing US sanctions, as the White House has shown no inclination to end its economic siege on the country.

The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, arrived in Aleppo, Syria, late on 8 February to supervise the delivery of emergency aid for those affected by Monday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

His arrival coincided with the latest Iranian aid plane to Syria, which landed at Aleppo airport on Wednesday evening.

The first Iranian aid plane arrived on Tuesday in Damascus carrying 45 tons of food and medical resources. The second and third Iranian planes landed respectively in Aleppo and Latakia.

Iran has been among the most supportive nations for Syria since Monday’s earthquake, which left over 3,000 people dead and destroyed hundreds of buildings.

According to Syrian officials, aid deliveries for the war-torn nation are being hampered by US sanctions. Moreover, western powers have made it clear they have no intention of dealing with the government in Damascus and only plan to direct aid to armed groups in control of the country’s northwest.

Even before the earthquake, US sanctions on Syria blocked reconstruction efforts and inflicted collective punishment on the civilian population.

The White House has shown no inclination to ease sanctions or reach out to the Syrian government to coordinate humanitarian assistance for people in government-controlled areas.

When asked earlier this week why Washington wasn’t contacting Damascus or considering lifting sanctions, US State Department spokesman Ned Price brushed off the suggestions and said that “it would be quite ironic, if not even counterproductive, for us to reach out to a government that has brutalized its people.”

Despite their unproductive position, many other nations worldwide have come together to provide aid for Syria, including those who are also victims of western-led blockades, like Afghanistan, Venezuela, Russia, and North Korea.

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