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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 12/3/21

The US weaponizing wheat in Syria

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The Syrian government has warned farmers in northeast Syria against using the wheat seeds supplied by USAID, which is a department of the US State Department in Washington.

The "seeds contain a high rate of nematodes [plant-parasitic worms], which reached 40 percent, and this poses a great danger to agriculture in the region, especially as its effects cause great damage that is exacerbated by the passage of time," according to Said Hajji, head of the government's agriculture directorate in Hasaka province.

USAID says the wheat seeds it recently provided to farmers meet "high standards for safety and quality".

"USAID is supplying Adana and Cihan wheat seed varieties to Syrian farmers, which are sourced from the region and undergo a series of tests at a qualified lab in (the) Kurdish Region of Iraq to verify their quality before they are transported and distributed to farmers in northeast Syria," the spokesperson said.

The 3,000 tons of wheat seeds are Turkish seeds supplied by the US government and tested in Iraq. The local Syrian agricultural labs have found the seeds to be inferior, and pose a danger of long-lasting damage.

The bread crisis in most of Syria is expected to become worse in the next few months due to drought and its subsequent impact on wheat crop production.

Karam Shaar, an economist and researcher at the Middle East Institute in Washington, said, "Nearly 11 million people live in the Syrian government areas, and they need about 2.8 million tons of wheat, nearly two-thirds of which goes to bread production."

The US using wheat as a weapon of war

Since the 2011 US-NATO attack on Syria began, wheat production in Syria has almost halved, declining from a pre-war average of 4.1 million tons per year to 2.2 million tons in 2019.

Since 2012, donors and humanitarian agencies have supported bread programs across Syria, exclusively in areas under armed terrorist control, such as Al Qaeda, but never inside the areas under the central government of Damascus, which now administers to over 70% of the country. The majority of Syrian residents have never received any donations of any kind from international aid agencies, except for the UN, which did provide some basic food items to internally displaced persons previously.

The US burning wheat crops in Syria

In the past, the US has burned wheat crops in northeastern Syria. Residents observed explosive balloons used by US military helicopters flying low and setting fire to wheat fields, as well as low flying to intimidate residents who might be thinking of selling their wheat crop to the Damascus government.

Samantha Power and USAID past and present

Samantha Power, of USAID, wrote via Twitter, "To combat an anticipated wheat shortage this planting season in NE #Syria, @USAID is sending 3K metric tons of quality wheat seeds from Iraq to Syrian farmers. 2021's wheat harvest was one of the poorest on record; these quality seeds will help prevent a food security crisis." @PowerUSAID

Samantha Power had been the US Ambassador to the UN, under President Obama, when the Christian Armenian village of Kessab was attacked on March 21, 2014. When asked to respond to the armed invasion, destruction of three churches, looting of homes, and murder of civilians, Samantha Power officially stated that the terrorists who carried out the attack and massacre were not affiliated with the US, and the US had no responsibility in the attack.

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Steven Sahiounie Social Media Pages: Facebook Page       Twitter Page       Linked In Page       Instagram Page

I am Steven Sahiounie Syrian American award winning journalist and political commentator Living in Lattakia Syria and I am the chief editor of MidEastDiscours I have been reporting about Syria and the Middle East for about 8 years

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