seldom been good neighbors. But the events in one country have usually also had consequences in the other.
Syria, with around 26 million inhabitants, of which five-six million refugees abroad. Lebanon with around 6, 5 million, of which one and a half million refugees. 184 000 syrian square kilometers compared to 10 200 lebanese. Syria has had the military power, Lebanon the budget.
Syria has been in civil war since 2011. Lebanon did finish the form of turmoil in 1990, after fifteen years of hell. Syria is the economic situation been worse for each year, in Lebanon in the last nine months have been a nightmare.
Now coronapandemien made that the situation in both countries has gone from critical to catastrophic. At the same time, the united STATES has implemented new sanctions against Syria.
One of the most important fellesnevnerne is Hezbollah, who both have political and military power in Lebanon.
Hezbollah fighters fighting in Syria for president Bashar Assad. But the lebanese militærhjelpen Assad get, turn again back in Lebanon, not least financially. Investors stay away, and western countries, plus the the majority of selling arab states arms, refusing to give Lebanon-needed loans. Saudi Arabia and The united arab emirates, which has long held life in the lebanese economy, has closed the faucets. The iranians are blakke. Hezbollah's involvement in Syria, with iranian support, has given the israelis the pretext to bomb in Syria. Hezbollah's control over large parts of Southern Lebanon, leading to the constant conflicts on the israeli-lebanese border, most recently in the previous week.
1.5 million syrian refugees in Lebanon. They have fled from the Assad regime. Libaneserne want to send them back, but the refugees fear the dictator's vengeance. Now live many of them in inhuman conditions in the lebanese camps.
Kingdom of the syrians has placed tens of billion in lebanese banks. Because of corruption, mismanagement and cynical bosses that have emptied the banks of their values, these the money is probably lost. But libaneserne suffer even more than the syrians. Here are both the rich and poor victims, not least because the lebanese pound has lost 80 percent of its value since the demonstrations against the fractious and powerless government started in October of last year. When a part costs must be paid for in dollars and the banks are holding these back, things go wrong. Now is svartebørskursen on the dollar five-six times higher than the official.
In Syria have the syrian pound lost 60 percent of its value in the last few months, primarily because of the economic collapse in Lebanon. According to the united nations the liver 80 per cent of the syrians under fattigdomsgrensa.
Coronapandemien has not directly affected people in Syria and Lebanon as hard as in some other countries. Lebanon has around 4500 infected in total, but felt a new wave in the middle of last week. Syria has officially a little over 600 infected, but there is probably a huge under-reporting, both because a part of the country still found itself at war and because president Assad and his kumpaner keeps infection rates back.
But still, the consequences of the pandemic have been immense:
In Lebanon, there is a full breakdown in health services. Hospitals do not have the capacity to accept all, not least because several hospitals have been closed because of the economic crisis. Instead of increasing the number of health workers have many lost the job. In Syria, where the health care system was good before the uprising started in 2011, the war has changed everything. With coronaen at the top gives the result itself.
Lebanon and Syria went their separate ways after they got rid of the French occupiers in the middle of the 1940s. Syria was a dictatorship, while Lebanon was an unruly political patchwork because of the many religious minorities in the country. During the cold war was Syria under the Moscow communists wings, while Lebanon received support from the west, first and foremost from France and the united STATES. But in spite of the western support was Lebanon occupied by Syria for 29 years, from the civil war's internationalization in 1976 to the humiliating withdrawal in 2005, after the assassination of the Sides of lebanon, prime minister Rafiq Hariri.
Now do China its appearance on the lebanese scene. The country has, together with Russia have been syria's supporter since the civil war started, but now begins the chinese also spread their tentacles in Lebanon, first and foremost because of what happens in a neighbouring country. For with scheduled major chinese investments in the lebanese economy, the regime in Beijing also come in from from the sidelines when Assad is going to start the reconstruction of their country.
It will look ugly out in Lebanon and Syria in the coming months.You can submit your article and opinion piece in Dagbladet here
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