Reports about an imminent U.S. strike over the Syrian government's alleged use of chemical weapons has caused panic in Syrian markets and triggered a new and sharp decline in the Syrian Pound.
According to media reports, four U.S. Navy destroyers are positioned in the eastern Mediterranean. All four warships are equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles allowing the Pentagon to act rapidly if a military strike is ordered against Syria.
The exchange rate was instantly affected by the anticipated U.S. strike, according to a blackmarket dealer, who spoke to Iqtissad on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. He expected a dramatic rise of U.S Dollar against the Pound if the U.S. Congress voted 'yes' to military action.
The source gave an example, saying the that dollar rose quickly before the G20 summit in St. Petersburg, up to 250 SP, and fell quickly when no decision in regard to the military strike was taken.
The source predicted that the dollar rate could rise up to 350 SP if Congress agreed and approved the military action against Syrian regime, basing in his estimation on the fact that the U.S. dollar reached to 280 SP when Obama announced his intention to hit the regime.
The demand for dollars these days is very slow, the source said, and the exchange market is looking carefully to the delayed strike which was assumed to happen last week. However, the dealer said if the strike is confirmed, a large number of Syrians from upper and middle classes will move to Lebanon and would try to get rid of Syrian Pounds prompting an increase in the dollar price.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer