Syrian government deprives Afrin IDPs of fuel

ALEPPO NORTHERN COUNTRYSIDE, Syria (North Press) – The siege imposed by the Syrian government on Shahba regions in the northern countryside of Aleppo, northern Syria, deprives Afrin IDPs of getting fuel for heating, an official of the fuel committee in Shahba region, said on Wednesday.

With the advent of winter in the northern countryside of Aleppo, the fears of the displaced people of Afrin increase, as they are unable to secure diesel and other means of heating, as a result of the siege imposed by the checkpoints of the government forces.

Since November 2020, the government has prevented fuel, gas, medicine, flour, and consumer goods from entering Shaba regions.

“We distributed diesel only once, and one barrel (20 liter) for each family, because there were no adequate quantities for people,” Mustafa Muhammad, the official of the Fuel Committee of the Autonomous Administration told North Press.

It is worth mentioning that in 2018, the Turkish military with the opposition factions caused the displacement of more than 300,000 people from the Afrin region towards the northern countryside of Aleppo, according to the Human Rights Organization-Afrin.

Some of the displaced sought refuge in the camps of al-Awda, Afrin, Barkhodan, Sardam and Shahba in the northern countryside of Aleppo. While some others were distributed among 42 villages and towns in the same area, while a number of families were displaced to Autonomous Administration areas or migrated abroad.

According to the statistics of a local fuel committee, the displaced families and residents of the area need about 300 barrels per day to meet the fuel needs; to operate generators (amperes), bakeries, health centers and internal transport vehicles.

However, Mohammed pointed out that “the amount of fuel that reaches the region only meets 30% of these needs, amid the continued siege by the government forces. 

The region also suffers from a shortage of gas and gasoline, as they do not enter the region normally, so people buy them at the black market at high prices, according to Muhammad.

If the siege continues on the area, and the government forces continue to politicize the issue of their needs, Afrin’s IDPs will face a real disaster, Muhammad warns.

Reporting by Dijla Khalil