Chronic crises in regime-held areas | Hundreds of residents awaiting in long lines for getting ice blocks in light of almost-complete blackout
Regime-controlled areas throughout Syria have experienced a new crisis caused by the escalating consumption of ice blocks, as long queues of these areas’ residents are seen in front of ice plants in light of the recent heat wave. These long queues, which have joined those queues in front of bread-bakeries, petrol stations and consumer institutions which provide products at state-subsidized prices, have alarmingly increased, especially with the residents’ inability to make ice blocks at home because of the almost-complete blackout, along with the lack of permanent or fair rationing system for saving electricity. This new crisis comes to further burdening the Syrians who have already been grappling with other chronic crises, including the acute bread and fuel shortage, poor transportation services, interruption of water affected by the power outages for long hours every day in water stations.
On Saturday, SOHR sources reported that the entire regime-controlled areas were experiencing “unfair rationing” of electricity, as power outages continued in some areas to 22 hours a day, while the average time of power availability was one hour after five to six hours of blackout. The hours of rationing was varying from one area to another, while Syrian regime cited terrorism and terrorist operations as an excuse for the power outages, attempting to rid itself of responsibility. At a time when Bashar al-Assad pointed out to the ongoing crisis of electricity, rationing was not applied in some areas under the control of the Syrian regime.
Reliable SOHR sources confirmed that the rationing imposed in regime-controlled areas is intentional for the favour of well-known warlords and cronies close to the ruling class. According to SOHR sources, a ship with a large shipment of solar panels aboard, belonging to one of the Syrian warlords known as Abu Ali K., was heading from China to Latakia. The sources expected that the power crisis would continue in regime controlled areas until all solar panels of this shipment, which arrives in a few days, were sold.