While the recent earthquake primarily affected southern Turkey and northern Syria, civilians based in Syria's southern regions have organised efforts to help fellow citizens affected by the disaster, even with the intention of helping some of those in areas outside of the control of the central government. This has been the case for example in the primarily Druze province of al-Suwayda'.
The interview in this post was conducted with 'Abu Fahd,' a resident of al-Suwayda' province. He talks about efforts organised in the province to help the affected. He also has a message on the subject of sanctions and the debate on their impact on relief efforts. I personally have grave doubts on the efficacy of sanctions and have concerns about how 'overcompliance' can hinder relief efforts for the earthquake in particular and worthwhile initiatives more generally to improve services after more than a decade of war. In relation to problems of 'overcompliance,' it should also be noted that the U.S. government has broadened humanitarian exemptions to sanctions for a six-month period to allow "processing and transfer of funds" to Syria for earthquake relief. All this aside, some people from within government-held areas do support the sanctions, and their perspectives should be heard too.
Below is the interview, which was conducted on 10 February and has been edited and condensed for clarity. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own:
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