Syria uses $4 billion of its international reserves: sources
Ahram Online & agencies, Wednesday 12 Oct 2011
Economic commentators in Damascus claim Assad's embattled regime has dig much deeper into its foreign currency reserves than previously claimed in a bid to counter falling tax and oil revenues

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.