This image shows a large crowd of Syrian civilians jostling for position in front of one of the state-run markets in Izra city in Daraa governorate on June 16 simply to buy sugar. The market, run by the Syrian Trade Corporation, an affiliate of the Syrian regime’s Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection in Izra’ city, has implemented the regime’s smart card program, which was launched under the pretext of enabling citizens to purchase sugar, rice, heating material and cooking fuel in an organized and planned manner at state-subsidized prices. SNHR notes that each Syrian citizen receives one kilo of sugar per month at a subsidized price of 350 Syrian pounds (approximately 10 US cents), while the monthly average income of working person is currently 60,000 Syrian pounds (approximately US $19).
SNHR believes that the Syrian regime is behaving in this fashion in an effort to mislead the public and to win over international opinion in order to shift blame from itself for the self-inflicted crisis it’s suffering from that resulted from its own disastrous policies in leading the Syrian state, more particularly during the last nine years, during which it caused the displacement of 13 million Syrian citizens, killed more than a quarter of a million civilians, and committed multiple crimes against humanity.
In reality, the ruling regime will remain wholly indifferent to the suffering of the Syrian people even if obtaining staples such as sugar becomes a dream for them. The international community must reduce the duration of this suffering by accompanying the existing economic sanctions with additional deterrent measures that include putting pressure on the Syrian regime and its allies to abide by United Nations resolutions, and to achieve a political transition according to a strict timetable that will not to exceed six months.