The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Following local councils’ rejection to buy harvest | Farmers in “Peace Spring” area under the mercy of greedy merchants affiliated with Turkish-backed factions

Farmers in Ras Al-Ain and Tel Abyad in “Peace Spring” area which under the control of Turkish forces and their proxy factions are concerned about merchants’ damnation of the harvest of wheat and barley, after Turkish-backed local councils evaded responsibility for buying the harvest from the region’s farmers, letting them victims of greediness of merchants affiliated with Turkish-backed factions and Turkish merchants.


In addition, farmers whose land is located near the soil barrier separating “Peace Spring” area from SDF-controlled areas, which stretches from Tel Abyad in northern Al-Raqqah to Abu Rasin in north-eastern Al-Hasakah, have faced challenging obstacles to sell their harvest.


This season, farmers have found themselves obligated to sell their harvest for low prices offered by greedy merchants; this, in turn, will inflect them heavy material losses.


Speaking to SOHR, a farmer known by his initials as A. R. says “merchants have planned to buy our winter harvest for prices that are lower than those on Turkish markets. This came after the officials who run this region had evaded buying this season’s harvest. We have no choices but to sell the harvest to merchants for low prices, especially since we are not allowed to send wheat to be sold outside Peace Spring area.”


Another farmer known as A. S. has told SOHR “we are prevented from working on our farmlands which are located near the soil barrier. Accordingly, the farmers, who had cultivated their land, cannot harvest their crops because of the strict measures imposed by the factions which prevent farmers from reaching their land, although they announced earlier that farmers would be able to work in their land after obtaining permissions.”


In a testimony to SOHR, a farmer known as A. A. has expressed his discontent with the levy imposed by gunmen, affiliated to ISIS and operate under the banner of the Turkish-backed faction of “Ahrar Al-Sharqiyah,” of nearly 40% of the harvest. The man clarified that those gunmen are deployed in Sluk area and take over a part of the land of everyone refusing to pay the levy, noting out that the situation in “Peace Spring” area has become difficult and that the residents have no sources of income but farming, despite the law diesel needed for watering their farmlands.