Wed. Oct 4th, 2023
    Demonstrators in Northern Syria Demand Reversal of Fuel Price Increase

    Demonstrators in northern Syria, primarily in Hasakah province, have taken to the streets to demand a reversal of the recent fuel price increase. The protesters cite worsening economic conditions and accuse the self-administration of policies that aim to impoverish the population and push them towards emigration.

    The self-administration had previously increased salaries for its contracted employees and military personnel by 100%, with an average monthly salary of approximately 800,000 Syrian pounds (around 55 US dollars). However, this decision sparked protests, strikes, and the closure of businesses.

    Abeer Khalid, the Co-Chair of the Fuel Management Directorate in the Self-Administration, stated that reversing or modifying the price increase decision would be difficult, emphasizing that the move would help reduce fuel smuggling operations.

    While some media outlets affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have framed the protests as destabilization efforts, the demonstrators argue that the self-administration is placing excessive economic pressure on the population. They are concerned about the control of oil and gas fields, fertile lands, and dams by the SDF.

    The protests have been accompanied by a social media campaign with the hashtag “No to the Fuel Price Hike, We Have the Right to Our Country’s Wealth.” This reflects the region’s concern about the management and distribution of its natural resources.

    It is essential to address the economic grievances of the people of northern Syria to ensure stability and prevent further unrest. The self-administration should engage in meaningful dialogue with the demonstrators and consider alternative solutions that alleviate the economic hardships faced by the population.

    – Self-Administration: Refers to the autonomous governing body in northern Syria, which is predominantly controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
    – Hasakah province: Located in northeastern Syria, it is one of the main strongholds of the self-administration.
    – Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF): A military alliance primarily composed of Kurdish and Arab fighters that has played a significant role in the fight against ISIS in Syria.

    – Lebanese al-Akhbar daily