Growing Public discontent | Autonomous Administration fails to provide sugar and improve bread quality
SOHR activists have monitored that residents in north-eastern Syria in the Autonomous Administration areas are discontent after the price of a kilo of sugar raised, and the deteriorating living conditions of the residents.
The price of one kilo of sugar reached about 4,000 Syrian pounds, after the border crossings which connect The Autonomous Administration’s control areas to the Kurdistan region of Iraq, while residents in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor cannot find sugar in shops at all.
Local sources told SOHR that residents in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor have to go more than 10 km, to get only 2 kilograms of sugar, which they can find at some shop owners who come from deferent areas.
A few days ago, Egyptian sugar cargo entered the Autonomous Administration areas, but it was not enough for the needs of residents.
It is worth noting that in the the Autonomous Administration areas, price of a flour bag 50 kilograms weight of the first type is about 100,000 Syrian pounds and the second type is about 85,000 Syrian pounds, while the price of one kilo of wheat is 2,200 Syrian pounds, that forced many people to stand on the queues for many hours to get bread, as Autonomous Administration could not supply the needed flour to bakeries.
Moreover, residents complain the bad quality of bread due to mixing flour with corn that provoked residents who attacked some bakeries and threatened others if the quality of the bread was not improved. In the return, bakeries owners threatened The Autonomous Administration to close in case residents attack them again.
On December 30, SOHR activists monitored protests by residents in Jarmuz village which is between Al-Shaddadi and Markada areas in the southern countryside of Al-Hasakah, where people have burned tires and blocked roads, demanding fuel and bread, which are almost missing in the autonomous administration areas, although these areas are rich of oil wealth and Al-Jazeera region is the main source of the cultivation of wheat and barley in Syria.
Areas governed by the Autonomous Administration of Northern and Eastern Syria are suffering from fuel crisis, the shortage of essential commodities, and the rise of the prices such as “Sugar, flour” and some other commodities.
The price of these materials has risen dramatically in recent days. The price of diesel has reached 750 Syrian pounds per one litre in the black market, while the government of autonomous administration has officially allocated one litre of diesel at 410 pounds. The price of sugar has risen to 7000 Syrian pounds per kilo. The price of flour also increased to 2,400 Syrian pounds per kilogram.
On December 22, Reliable SOHR sources reported that Autonomous Administration areas in north and east Syria are witnessing a crisis of storing food commodities as residents are panic buying and stockpiling essentials like sugar, vegetable oil, margarine, rice, and canned food, and other supplies fearing these commodities would become unavailable on the market as a result of the government of Kurdistan Regional of Iraq (KRI) closure of Semalka crossing (Fish Khabur), which is the only humanitarian crossing that links north Syrian with the KRI areas.
SOHR documented long queues of a large number of residents and for long hours in front of the consuming institutions to buy food commodities.
On December 21, authorities of the KRI closed all commercial and humanitarian crossings between the region and SDF-held areas in north-east Syria. According to SOHR sources, the region’s authorities will allow the crossing of foreign workers of international organizations towards Kurdistan Region only for December 22. However, the authorities of the KRI will not allow Syrian people with foreign and Iraqi residence documents to cross into the region.
Accordingly, the residents of north-east Syria region in the areas controlled by Autonomous Administration are stranded, with no crossings open with surrounding regions and countries, especially after the closure of Tel Joker crossing previously under an international decision.
It is worth noting that the crossings between SDF-held areas and Turkey have been closed since 2012. Moreover, regime forces frequently closed crossings between regime-controlled areas and SDF-controlled areas, not to mention the harassment by regime forces against the residents passing through these crossings when they are open.
On the other hand, authorities of the KRI dismantled the pipeline feeding the region with oil from SDF-held areas. The pipeline dubbed “Odayy” was established after an agreement between Stir Kropp company in the KRI and the Autonomous Administration no north and east Syria, stipulating providing an estimated 30,000 oil barrels a day to the KRI at a lower price than the international oil price.