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Why is Syrian wheat being exported despite the country’s need for it?


Residents of Syria, the most important Arab country in wheat cultivation, find it difficult to buy bread, despite the increase in Syrian wheat production over the past years, and it is even exported abroad, according to For local and international reports.

With the price of foodstuffs in Syria reaching astronomical numbers, many of the population are exposed to hunger. Shortage of wheat Markets are a major problem in a country that declares the past year 2020 the year of wheat.

It does not seem that the matter has anything to do with the battles that have almost stopped in all parts of the country, as much as the Syrian wheat crisis is due to the exploitation of the Kurdish forces and the Assad militias of the wheat crop produced in the northeast of the country, according to a report by the magazine The Economist British.

The Syrian wheat puzzle

A merchant whose office is located in the city of Qamishli, in the northeast of Syria, describes how officials make it difficult to bring Syrian wheat to the market.

Syrian wheat trucks must pass through dozens of checkpoints on their way to the capital, Damascus. The Kurdish forces controlling the area do not ship cargo, except after paying fees, on the de facto borders between the territories they control and the lands of President Bashar al-Assad.

Kurds impose royalties on wheat / Reuters

On the other hand, the Fourth Armored Division, which is controlled by Maher al-Assad, the brother of the Syrian president, gets $ 3,000 per load of Syrian wheat. The merchant must also bribe officials in Damascus and be supportive of the government, so that he is not arrested as a terrorist. Sometimes the crossings are closed, which stops the Syrian wheat shipments because one side wants to pressure the other.

The merchant says it is easier and more profitable to sell Syrian wheat abroad, and adds that “politicians are starving people,” as quoted by the magazine. The Economist.

States, not one country

A decade ago, Assad waged war on his people rather than accepting their demands for democratic reforms. Hundreds of thousands have died in the conflict, which attracted foreign powers and devastated most of the country. Half of the pre-war population of 22 million was displaced.

Today, a host of agreements, which include America, Iran, Russia and Turkey, limit the fighting. Syrians travel across the country to study, shop and visit relatives. But the country is divided into enclaves, each with a foreign garrison, according to a magazine The Economist.

Local administrations are becoming entrenched everywhere, having their own militias, running their own economies, and often preferring a single ethnicity or sect. “We are witnessing a division of Syria like the Balkans,” says a UN official.

Assad rules 60% of the country, and Iran and Russia offer little money

Assad’s men recaptured most of the major cities and seized about 60% of the land, after the territory they controlled was only about 30% in 2014. The Assad family has ruled Syria for more than half a century. And the next elections in May or June – if held from the original – will undoubtedly give the president a fourth term of seven years.

But these are very expensive victories. The Syrian economy is in a worse condition than at any time in the past over the past decade, and Syrian wheat, which was sufficient for the country’s needs and overflowed, has become a scarce commodity.

The Syrian pound is traded at about 1% of its pre-war value in dollars on the black market. The Assad government pays only $ 15 a month for civil servants. Across the country, people spend hours queuing to get petrol. The causes of the crisis are many, including war, corruption, restrictions related to the new Corona virus pandemic, US sanctions and the collapse of Lebanese banks, while the wealthy Syrians hide their money. Assad’s two main allies – Russia and Iran – are providing little help, in part because of their suffering as well.

Whoever talks about hunger gets imprisoned

Assad has no answers, and in his speeches he often ignores Syria’s big problems. It was announced that he and his wife had contracted the emerging coronavirus. There has been a sharp increase in injuries since mid-February. But only half of Syria’s hospitals are fully operational. Even the country’s vaccination plans are divided, with opposition groups negotiating separately with donors to obtain vaccines. And Assad appears to be more interested in monitoring his own people, not monitoring the virus. His men are looking for any hint of dissent. The loyal journalist who recently wrote about hunger on Facebook has been thrown in prison.

Russian forces operate without deterrence, while Iranian militias control the borders between the regime-held areas, Iraq and Lebanon. Israel drops its shells on the militias. Meanwhile, Druze tribes in the south, Arab tribes in the east, and even Assad’s Alawite sect on the coast are increasingly defending themselves. Clashes between groups are common. An Arab sheikh from Deir Ezzor in the east says: “If an Alawite came here alone and unarmed, he would be killed.”

The Kurds are fighting Arabia, pursuing the opposition, and selling wheat to Iraq

In the Kurdish-controlled region of Syria, in the northeast, locals have given up the Arabic language in exchange for Kurdish, preferring to deal in dollars. Syrians outside the enclave dominated by Kurds seeking residency need a local sponsor.

The Kurdish authorities do not like dissent, so their forces go after critics and the youth, including Arabs. The region is suffering along with the rest of the country, but at least it has oil and is protected by the United States. It sells Syrian oil and wheat to Iraq.

Therefore, the Kurdish administration in Syria can pay much higher salaries than those in Assad’s territory. The materials needed for the rebuilding are arriving from abroad. A vegetable oil refining plant opened last month, creating hundreds of new jobs.

Turkey has long feared that Syria’s Kurds would encourage its Kurdish separatists. So since 2016, Turkey has launched attacks inside Syria, capturing the northwestern corner and slices along the border. These areas were largely cleansed of the Kurds and handed over to the Sunni Arab opponents who share the Islamic leanings of Turkey. Turkey pays the salaries of local officials, which also facilitates reconstruction. The land uses the Turkish lira and is connected to the electricity grid that serves southern Turkey. The UN official likened the situation to Northern Cyprus, which Turkey intervened militarily in 1974 and is still under the protection of Ankara.

Perhaps if Syria had a more pragmatic president, he would have tried to strike deals with regional authorities and transfer power in an effort to unify the country. But Assad fears that the settlement will be seen as a sign of weakness, so he, in return, threatens more war. In his sermons, he revived his father’s old metaphors about the glories of Arab and Islamic civilizations to frighten minorities.

Assad is trying to change the country’s identity

And trying the system At the same time presenting himself as a representative of minorities in a confrontation The Sunni Arab majorityIt is an approach that the regime is not trying to promote in Syria only, but in neighboring Lebanon, and it has historically been accepted by Shiite leaders and some Christian leaders in Lebanon such as Al Franjieh.

The media of the Syrian regime condemn the Syrians outside the regime-controlled areas as terrorists and a fifth column. On March 1, the House of Representatives in Damascus approved a law that strips citizenship of anyone who does not renew his identity card after ten years, and it targets those who fled or were liberated from Assad’s rule. Many of them want to return, but they also want to see someone else rule Syria.

The Syrian regime is gradually seeking to dispel the chances of refugees returning to their country, and the enactment of a number of laws that facilitate the seizure of their property, in addition to its plans to revoke the nationality of Syrian refugees.

He was previously called the system More than 10 million Syrians who fled the raging war in the country have to submit proof of ownership of their homes, otherwise the government will get their hands on it.

And raised Property law Widespread fears among Syrian citizens who opposed Bashar al-Assad that they face the risk of living in permanent exile, and that other people considered loyal to the regime may be allowed to settle in their local communities, according to a newspaper report. The Guardian British.

Since the majority of internally displaced and externally displaced refugees are neither able or willing to return to prove their ownership of property, analysts and exiles argue that the law, known as Article 10, and the narrow time frame surrounding it, can be used as a tool for demographic change and social security.

And it is similar to this Law Absentee Property Law in Israel, promulgated in 1950, which authorizes the seizure of property of Palestinians who were expelled from their lands.

The Sunni Arabs are A.For the first victim of demographic change in SyriaAccording to estimates by Columbia University in the United States, as a result of their greater human losses from the war, and that a proportion of the number of refugees is greater than their proportion of the total population.





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