Assad Attempts to Weaponize COVID-19 in Syria
COVID-19 has exacerbated Syria’s economic crisis to unprecedented levels. In recent weeks alone, the Syrian pound has lost more than half its value. President Bashar al-Assad argued that Syrians could not endure any more economic hardship. He reopened businesses and markets after a two-month lockdown in late April and lifted a daily curfew on May 26.
But it is not “business as usual.” In fact, as he has opened the country Assad has tried to ensure that those in opposition-held areas are more vulnerable to the pandemic. He is seeking to weaponize COVID-19 to help win his civil war.