The foreign - backed insurgency in Syria has damaged some 9,000 state buildings and run up $15 billion in losses to the public sector, Local Administration Minister Omar Al Ibrahim Ghalaounji said Sunday.

In comments published in Syrian newspapers, Ghalaounji said the $15 billion in damages to the public sector were sustained between March 2011, when the crisis began, and March 2013.

He said they were the result of terrorist attacks on government buildings and infrastructure.

Former Syrian Planning Minister Abdullah al - Dardari, who leads a six - member UN team drawing up a comprehensive postwar reconstruction plan, recently estimated the overall damage to Syria ' s economy at $60 - $80 billion. He told The Associated Press that Syria ' s economy has shrunk by about 35 percent, compared to the 6 percent annual growth Syria enjoyed in the five years before the conflict began. The economy lost almost 40 percent of its GDP, and foreign reserves have been extensively depleted, he said. Unemployment has shot up from 500,000 before the crisis to at least 2.5 million this year, he said. Syria ' s currency plunged to a record low this month following a US decision to arm militants.

The Syrian pound currently trades around 200 to the dollar, compared with 47 before the crisis. When the conflict began, the government had some $17 billion in foreign currency reserves. Those have dropped from blows to two main pillars of the economy: oil exports, which used to bring in up to $8 million per day, and tourism, which in 2010 earned $8 billion.

US and European Union bans on oil imports added to suffering of Syrian people and are estimated to cost Syria about $400 million a month. The war in Syria started in March 2011, when pro - reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states. The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history. As the foreign - backed insurgency in Syria continues without an end in sight, the US government has boosted its political and military support to Takfiri extremists.