U.S. eases trade restrictions on Syrian opposition

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The United States eased restrictions on trade with Syria’s opposition Wednesday, in a move aimed at helping supply the critical needs of Syrians in “liberated areas.”

The new waivers to general sanctions on the country allow companies to supply software, technology, reconstruction and power generation equipment, as well as farm and food production equipment, to opposition-controlled areas.

“These items are intended to help address the critical needs of the Syrian people and facilitate reconstruction in liberated areas,” the State Department said.

The new exemptions also allow companies to buy oil from the opposition.

And they allow non-profit support of efforts to preserve Syria’s cultural heritage, like archaeological sites.

“Our priority in Syria is to help the people, ensuring that food and medical supplies can reach Syrians afflicted by the ongoing conflict,” the statement said.

“We also recognize that rebuilding Syria’s future requires helping preserve the country’s cultural heritage and we want to ensure that sanctions do not impede that important effort.”

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