Breaking: Assad calls slide in Syria pound ‘foreign plot,’ urges nation to back state
President Bashar al-Assad has described the depreciation of the Syrian pound against the US dollar as a “foreign plot,” calling on all strata of the society to stick by the state, join forces and counter the slide of the currency.
Speaking at a weekly cabinet meeting in Damascus on Tuesday evening, Assad said Syria has been able to make unprecedented achievements in its fight against the economic terrorism being waged by the Western countries, particularly the United States.
He said the collapse of the Syrian pound is an onslaught launched from abroad against the war-torn country.
The falling exchange rate is part of the “psychological war being waged [against Syria]. Just like any other battle, we have to inform the public about the circumstances surrounding the process, and let people know the campaign is as important as military operations meant to restore stability…,” Assad said.
The Syrian president also called on the government and the nation to support production, asking the Ministry of Economy and Trade to intervene immediately and deal with the “unjustified high prices” in the country.
Assad also said traders could not justify changing prices within hours, stressing those profiting from the depreciation of Syrian pound would be punished.
“It is no less important than the military battle … If the citizen does not stand by state institutions in this war, the institutions will lose,” he told the cabinet session.
“Any trader benefiting now is a thief,” Assad said. “It is imperative that we intervene, and with force.”
Syria’s economy has been battered by more than a decade of foreign-sponsored war, and is now reeling from the knock-on effects of a financial crisis in neighboring Lebanon.