The Syrian government has pulled US$4 billion from its international reserves to cover public deficits as the economy continues to falter, according to well-informed economic sources in Damascus.
According to the Syrian newsite Damas Post, the governor of the Central Bank of Syria, Abdeed Mayal, announced the June withdrawal of $2bn from the country's estimated $17.4bn of international reserves.
But economic sources claim a simple calculation will show the amount taken from the reserves was actually $4bn.
The regime has had to cover soaring costs since the revolt against President Bashar Assad's regime erupted in the spring. While increasing wages for public sector employees, the government has had to contend with a plummet in tax revenues and tarriffs, and the loss of vital oil and gas revenues.