06:27 GMT +317 August 2018
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    Syrians walk past a portrait of President Bashar al-Assad in the capital Damascus on March 15, 2016

    US House Passes Bill Banning Aid for Assad-Controlled Syrian Territories

    © AFP 2018 / LOUAI BESHARA
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    Russia's Permanent Representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov has commented on Wednesday on the issue of the humanitarian aid deliveries to Syria amid the reports that the United States was not planning to provide any assistance to Syria in the areas, controlled by President Bashar al-Assad.

    The US House of Representatives has passed a bill, ruling out any American reconstruction support to Assad-controlled territories in the war-weary country.

    “It would be unconscionable for US Government funds to be used for stabilization or reconstruction in areas under control of the illegitimate Assad regime and its proxies. We are not going to support the building of infrastructure that will benefit Hezbollah, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, or foreign militias recruited and paid by the Iranian regime,” the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s statement read.

    According to the legislation, the United States may “look at the prospect for assistance” if “the Government of Syria is no longer led by Bashar al-Assad and his proxies.”

    This decision reiterates statements made by several high-ranking US officials, including the acting assistant secretary of state for the Middle East, David Satterfield, estimated that Syria would need around $200-$300 billion to rebuild the devastated country, and clarified that “the international community had committed itself not to provide that reconstruction assistance until those goals – constitutional reform, UN-supervised elections – are realized.”

    READ MORE: US Won't Help Assad's Syria Rebuild Nation — State Department

    Vladimir Chizhov warned against the politicization of the issue of humanitarian aid supplies to Syria. 

    "UNSC resolution 2401 that was supported and implemented with the significant contribution of Russia, clearly stipulates that humanitarian issues should be addressed on all the territory of Syria. Therefore, we reiterate that these issues should not be politicized and used as tools of pressure. Providing such support should not be linked to the achievement of certain political goals," he said.

    Last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised to “stand by” Syria in its reconstruction until the complete establishment of security and stability in the war-ravaged country.

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    Bashar al-Assad, Syria, United States
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