Syrian President Bashar al-Assad signed a law ratifying a $1 billion credit line from top regional ally Iran, Syria’s state news agency SANA said on Wednesday, funds which will help ease economic strains from the costly war.

The agreement was between two state-owned banks, the Syrian Commercial Bank and Export Development Bank of Iran, it said. Syria signed a previous $3.6 billion credit line with Iran in July 2013 which has been used up mostly for oil imports, bankers have said.

The new deal was signed on May 19 and approved by the Syrian parliament on Tuesday, SANA said. The money would be used for funding imports of goods and commodities and implementing projects, it said, without giving details. […]