The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Jabal Al-Arab residents rise up | Protests ignite in over 20 locations, blocking major roads in Al-Suwaydaa

SOHR activists have reported an escalation of protests in Al-Suwaydaa province, south Syria, as Syrian Observatory activists have reported seeing civilians flocked into the streets in over 20 protest locations across Al-Suwaydaa and its countryside.

Here is a list of protests locations:

– In front of Ain Al-Rumman headquarters in Al-Suwaydaa city,

– The military police road in the centre of Al-Suwaydaa,

– The towns and villages of Namira, Umm Dhabib, Shaqa, Majadil, Arika, Samid, Umm Haratin, Khalkhlah, Damascus-Al-Suwaydaa road at the village of Hazm, Umm Al-Zaytoun, Al-Ghariya.

In addition, there are more than seven districts in Al-Suwaydaa countryside that witness protests.

These large-scale demonstrations are against the recent decisions of the regime government to exclude more than 600,000 households from receiving government rations and subsidised goods and foodstuffs via a “smart ration card”, amid the deteriorating living conditions.

Syrian Observatory activists have just reported that Al-Suwaydaa residents have blocked some major roads in several areas.

Dozens of people in Al-Qarya area also cut the main road of Al-Suwaydaa this morning.

The protesters also blocked Nimra-Shahba, Majadil-Shahba and Al-Qarya-Al-Suwaydaa roads with rubber tyres after being set ablaze, as an expression of their dissatisfaction with the regime’s and government’s management of the living crises that plague civilian lives.

On February 3, SOHR reported that while the Syrian people in the regime-held areas have been struggling poverty, hiking prices, worsening living conditions, security vacuum and regime security iron grip with 90 percent of the Syrians are living under the line of poverty, the regime government had lifted the “government subsidy” for nearly 600,000 Syrian families which equal nearly 15 percent of those holding the smart ration cards.

The recent decision has caused popular uproar in the areas under the regime control where hundreds of civilians have flocked into the streets in the morning in Al-Suwaidaa towns, including Al-Namerah town in east Al-Suwaidaa countryside to protest the decision.

The protesters blocked the road leading to Shahbaa and Al-Suwaidaa cities with burning cars tires. The protests expanded to Al-Qariya town in south Al-Suwaidaa where the demonstrators have closed the town’s bakeries demanding selling the bread for all with the subsidised prices.

Meanwhile, some young men from Om Dabyeeb village have cut the roads in solidarity with the protested residents who have been excluded of the subsidised goods list.

Also, members of a local faction and some civilians have cut Damascus-Al-Suwaidaa highway near Mardaq bridge with burning tire to protest the government decision of partial lifting of subsidy.

On February 1, Observatory sources reported that the Syrian government passed a new resolution that excluded more than half a million families from receiving government rations and subsidised goods and foodstuffs via a “smart ration card.” More than 15 percent of eligible families and 47 percent of private car owners were affected by this decision.

The standard for lifting subsidies from private car owners depended on the family owning a single car “with an engine capacity exceeding 1500 CC and the year of manufacture being after 2008.”

Furthermore, the government was exploring lifting subsidies for people who own multiple properties and buildings in the same province.

The last decision was met with widespread public discontent in the light of the chronic crises in areas controlled by the Syrian regime, particularly the limited income per capita of workers and employees whose monthly salaries do not exceed 100,000 Syrian pounds to 200,000 Syrian pounds, equivalent to 28 USD and 55 US dollars, while the price of gas cylinder reached about 30,000 Syrian pounds, equivalent to 8 USD.