US: Syria's Assad govt. running low on money


Syrians walk past a checkpoint manned by rebels in the northern city of Aleppo today. A commercial hub and home to 2.5 million people, Syria's second city Aleppo has become a new front in the country's 16-month uprising, after being largely excluded from the violence.


Bulent Kilic

United States officials said Friday that President Bashar al-Assad's regime is running out of cash.

Sources at the US Treasury and the State Department told CBS News that Syria is having problems finding a source to print its currency.

They estimate Assad has spent about half of Syria's sovereign wealth fund, which two years ago was estimated at some $5 billion, CBS wrote.

The news comes amid reports that Syria's military is gearing up for a massive military strike on the city of Aleppo, which the international community fears could turn into a massacre.

More from GlobalPost: Syria: UN and US fear massacre in Aleppo

On Friday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned Syria not to use chemical weapons "under any circumstances," according to Reuters, citing threats from Assad.

European Union sanctions, spearheaded by the US, have crippled Syria's ability to find banking partners and put economic pressure on the government.

More from GlobalPost: White House warns of massacre plans for Syria's Aleppo