Syria

Domestic gas crisis in Aleppo, between reality and officials' statements

Aleppo – North-Press Agency
Zein al-Abdin Hussein

   

All Syrian governorates, Aleppo in particular, are witnessing a suffocating gas crisis due to the shortage and high costs of fuel "diesel", the frequent interruption of electricity on one hand, and the shortage of gas distributed on the other hand. The Syrian government had announced earlier this year the distribution of gas via what is known as a "smart card", so that gas cylinders were distributed to the civilians in a definite period, under the supervision of neighborhood committees "mukhtars", in order to limit the monopoly of traders of gas, but the crisis didn't end, as it opened another door for monopoly and patronage.

 

About this suffocating crisis, Mustafa Qal'aji, the Secretary-General of the Syrian Change and Renaissance Party in Aleppo, talked to North-Press about the comments of government officials regarding this matter, by saying: "They talk about the issue of losing domestic gas every day, and everyone denounces this crisis, the officials state that there is gas, but the statements are contrary to the truth.”


Qal'aji indicated the gas isn't available in a systematic manner, but it is available in the black market and with the required quantity, as this indicates there is no censorship on that market, "it appears to everyone that this is a matter of corruption.”


He emphasized that, the solution lies in setting a standard which ensures fairness in distribution, as well as the priority of the citizen’s interest over the issue of trading in gas with the neighboring countries such as Lebanon or other countries.  

 

Despite the statements of the officials in the Syrian government, the most recent of which was the statement of the director of Gas Operations in Syria, Ahmad Hassoun, regarding the relief of the gas crisis and its overcoming, there are no indications of that, and citizens are still standing for long hours to obtain their allocations of domestic gas, as they are demanding a solution for this crisis.


Abdo Issa, a history teacher from Ashrafiya neighborhood, said the gas crisis has negatively affected everyone, as he had to stand from five in the morning in front of the place of distribution until eleven p.m. to obtain a gas cylinder, and he had to take time off from school for this reason.


While citizen Berihan Abdul Majeed, said she comes to the queue instead of her husband so that he can go to work, adding that a single cylinder isn't enough for their household work.  


She added that the electricity is also cut off a lot and you cannot rely on it as a substitute for gas, as she demanded the authorities in charge to solve one of the two crises, either gas or electricity, because they cannot buy the gas cylinder from the black market due to its high price and their limited income.  

 

Middle east

The wave of criticism to supply Turkey with German weapons disproportionate with the volume of supply – German affairs expert

Avin Sheikhmous – North-Press Agency

After the Turkish military invasion in north-eastern Syria, Germany announced the suspension of arms exports to Turkey, describing the attack as contrary to the international law, nevertheless, Berlin re-exported arms to its NATO partner, Turkey.

Weapon for the Navy

Dr. Najat Abdulhaq, an expert in the German political and economic affairs, told North-Press regarding reports of  given permission to the German Ministry of Economy, to continue sending German weaponry to Turkey, despite the suspension decision, following the Turkish war against Kurdish areas in northern Syria. Abdul Haq added that the German Ministry of Economy reported that supplies to Turkey in the last eight months of this year, amounted to €250 million, ranking Turkey as number one in the list of importing arms from the German market. “All of these approved equipment are more closely associated with the navy, especially the submarines built by (ThyssenKrupp) for the Turkish Navy, and electronics related to surveillance devices and light weapons," she explained. She said that the German observers and experts reported that the use was minimal, as Germany had asked Turkey not to do so, as this was part of the maneuvering policy in Germany.

"Turkey is Germany's important NATO partner, and has not yet been removed, which forces allies to consult with each other on arms supplies," she noted.

“However, there are non-confirmed news regarding the presence of German weaponry in the hands of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in north-eastern Syria," Abdulhaq noted adding that the news did not touch on the passing of arms by Turkey to its affiliated Syrian armed opposition groups.

Refugees paper

The German expert spoke about Turkish President Erdogan's use of the refugees paper, saying that "no news were mentioned in this context, as the news of the supply of German weaponry to Turkey, came on the basis of accountability of the German Ministry of Economy within the German Parliament.” As for the reaction of the German people, she pointed out that the wave of protests over the Turkish military incursion in north-eastern Syria, "was at first very great, as massive demonstrations took the streets in all German cities and towns, especially in Berlin."

Objection of supplying Turkey

Dr. Najat Abdulhaq, said that there was an objection from civil society organizations which demanded peace and the withdrawal of weapons, and a halt to the supply of arms to Turkey. She clarified that there is a lot of criticism in this regard, but it's not commensurate with the volume of exportation.

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