المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Impacts of economic crisis | HTS employs dozens of civilians in military fortifications, paying high wages

The HTS and opposition factions continue to fortify their positions close to the frontlines in the rural areas of Idlib, Latakia, Hama and Aleppo, where they oversee these work and attract dozens of workers paying them well, commensurate with the risk of working there.

On the Kabana frontline, the fortifications are still ongoing, as the trenches became deeper and manifold, in order to facilitate the movement of fighters and the transfer of casualties outside the frontlines, as well as supplying the frontlines with the necessary needs without being targeted by regime forces and loyalists.

HTS pays $15 for a one-metre drilling, and chooses people for this work after a recommendation by an emir or security official in the HTS, in order to preserve the confidentiality of information of sensitive strategic military posts such as the Kabana frontline in Latakia countryside.

In Idlib countryside and Jabal al-Zawiya, HTS pays more than $20 per meter for digging trenches, where workers are exposed to the risk of being targeted by regime forces which overlook large areas of Jabal al-Zawiya.

HTS is also working on fortifying its positions in rural Aleppo and Hama, paying similar wages.

HTS’ excavation and fortifications are funded by dismantling public facilities such as railways, thermal power plants, networks of water and telephone, power grid, etc. While the cost of such works is higher than the price of scrap they get from dismantling of public facilities and other works.

On the other hand, these trenches are new tactics which make up a new geographical map, coinciding with the stationing of Turkish troops near the Aleppo-Latakia road known as “M4”, and the conduct of Russian-Turkish joint patrols there.

The fortifications work is on the rise as unemployment spreads among thousands of young people and poor economic and humanitarian conditions particularly in the camps, and all areas of north-western Syria.

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