Authors: Jeanette Torres
(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- Even though it might seem the international community is sitting on its hands instead of intervening in Syria's ongoing conflict, a Syrian government official says the rest of the world is still managing to punish his country for the violent crackdown on political opponents.
According to Syrian Oil Minister Sufian Alao, Syria has lost at least $4 billion because of sanctions against the industry, which is also resulting in steep fuel shortages.
On one hand, Syria is having a difficult time exporting oil, which is a mainstay of its economy, since most of its crude goes to European countries that have imposed the sanctions.
As for imports, Venezuela is one of the few nations still sending fuel oil shipments to Syria but it hasn't been nearly enough, forcing rationing of diesel and cooking gas.
Because Syria can only meet half of its consumers' demands for gas, Alao says the rest of it has to be imported and those supplies aren't coming.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio