IDLIB, Syria (North Press)- Syria’s northwestern Turkish-held province of Idlib has been witnessing a state of discontent among its residents due to the increase in fuel prices by WATED company, owned by the Turkish-backed al-Qaeda-affiliated Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), locals said on Thursday.
Fouad Arnous, owner of a petrol station in Idlib, told North Press, “The prices aren’t stable due to the universal situation which caused by the outbreak of coronavirus, and the closure of the crossings all over the world.”
“This caused delay in the arrival of oil cargo which leads to increasing the transport prices as per the taxes,” he said.
Dozens of residents took part in the Clock Square in Idlib, on August 4, in a demonstration, due to the deteriorating living conditions and the high fuel prices imposed by the Wated company of HTS.
Muhammad Jamour, a resident of the city of Idlib, told to North Press, ”The true source of fuel in the Syrian north must be known, because everyone knows that Syrian oil has very little entry into these areas, and the primary dependence is on fuel imported from Ukraine.”
He noted that the Wated company has monopolize the prices, because there is no competitor to it in the region. If there were more than one source for oil, the prices would be lower.
An employee of Wated Company, who preferred not to be identified, told North Press "The price of imported diesel and gasoline has been raised due to its increase from the source, and the fuel of Watad company is imported from several countries, mainly from Ukraine."
Wated issued a decision earlier, to increase the price of imported diesel and gasoline, as it raised the price of a liter of gasoline from 3.85 Turkish liras to 4.15 Turkish liras, and raised the price of a liter of imported diesel from 3.75 Turkish liras to 4 Turkish liras.
Wated company was founded in Idlib in early 2018 by a group of Syrian businessmen living in Turkey. Later, it has become a key player in Idlib as it controls and trades the local fuel and gas market, from oil refining to setting prices.