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Protests break out in NE Syria over fuel price hikes

  2021-05-18  | 
 Zhyan News Network
People protest hiked fuel prices in Qamishli in Autonomous Administration of North East Syria (AANES), Syria, May 18,2021. Photo by North Press Agency (NPA)
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – A number of people protested in some areas in Qamishli and Hasakah in northeastern Syria on Tuesday (May 18) over an increase in fuel prices by the authorities that led to clashes between the security forces and the protesters.

On Monday, the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North East Syria (AANES) Executive Council decided to raise super grade gasoline rose from 210 to 410 Syrian pounds (SYP), the price of imported premium gasoline rose from 1350 SYP to 1950 SYP, and a household propane tank rose from 3,000 to 8,000 SYP.

Syria, including the northeastern Syria known as Rojava, undergoes an economic crisis sparked by the declining prices of the Syrian pounds against the US dollar crushed under US and western sanctions on Damascus and decades-long civil war since 2011 anti-government protests. 

Fuel Directorate co-chair Sadiq Muhammad Amin told North Press Agency (NPA) that the old fuel prices were too “low” to cover costs of production and importation of fuels.

“fuel needs to be imported from the Kurdistan Region due to the inability of oil wells in northeast Syria to cover the needs of the whole region,” he said. 

Four local Kurdish political parties called on the AANES to reverse the decision, calling it “ill-considered” and unjust,” reported the NPA. 

Similar protests happened in Shaddadi and al-Muabbada (Girke Lege ) towns and shoppers closed down their stores in protest. 

A number of protesters and security personnel were wounded in the clashes in the protests, Internal Security Forces (Asayish) said in a statement.

“some stalkers and those who tamper with public security exploited the peaceful demonstrations and attacked the military points, centers and institutions, using weapons against the demonstrators which led to civilian casualties,” Asayish said. in a statement reported by AANES-affiliated Hawar News. 

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported armed attacks among the proetsters against the security forces in Shaddadi town and al-Nashwah neighborhood in al-Hasakah, leaving many injured among an unconfirmed fatality.

The SOHR also called on the AANES to reverse its decree. 

(Zhyan English)