Disinfo: EU-Sanctions on Syria are unlawful and force Syrians to starve


The fact that the European Union at the end of May renewed its own sanctions against Syria, also in violation of international law, was not even mentioned in passing by the Tagesschau. (…) The sanctions (“maximum pressure”) are already formally incompatible with international law.

In the case of Syria, the West has no right to force a change in the office of the president. To further destroy the economically already ruined country and to accept countless deaths (…) is incompatible with all international legal norms.

In addition to a bombing war, partial occupation and the theft of Syrian oil resources, now this US-EU “support for the Syrian people”: it is now forced to starve. (…)  All of the EU and the US try to cloak and justify the criminality of their own politics with absurd accusations of guilt against Assad (“poison gas attacks”, “barrel bombs on their own people”).


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Syrian war and belligerent intentions of the West against Syria.

Within the context of the Syrian conflict, EU sanctions, imposed since 9 May 2011, respond to the repression perpetrated on the Syrian people by the Syrian regime and its supporters, including through the use of live ammunition against peaceful protesters and the regime’s involvement in the proliferation and use of chemical weapons. EU sanctions against the regime were extended in May 2020 for one year.

The goal of these measures is not to destroy Syria or wage an economic war, but to put pressure on the Syrian regime to halt its repression and negotiate a lasting political settlement of the Syrian crisis in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254 under UN auspices. They are part and parcel of the EU’s wider approach to the Syria crisis, as outlined in the EU strategy on Syria.

EU sanctions are designed in a way that only targets the specific individuals and entities on the sanctions list, avoiding negative impacts on the population. They comply with all obligations under international law, in particular international refugee law, international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Read more disinformation cases alleging that sanctions on Syria are illegal and aim to destroy the country, EU sanctions bypass the UN, EU sanctions on Syria are illegal and that the US wants to divide Syria.


  • Reported in: Issue 208
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 13/07/2020
  • Language/target audience: German
  • Country: EU, US, Syria
  • Keywords: humanitarian aid, Chemical weapons/attack, Human rights, Syrian War, Sanctions, Bashar al-Assad


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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