Brief Look At economic And Social Situation In Syria After Six Years Of War – Opinion

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Brief Look At economic And Social Situation In Syria After Six Years Of War - Opinion

Syrians celebrate on December 22, 2016 in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, after the army said it has retaken full control of the country’s second city. (AFP)

Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, the suffering of the Syrian citizens has not only been from the threat of fighting throughout the various parts of Syria, but also from the different economic and social aspects of the crisis. In some areas and situations these aspects exceeded the real battles in terms of harming the Syrian population. Syria turned, within one year, from the cheapest and safest country in the world to the most dangerous and expensive one.

Since 2011, the economy has been affected by the escalation in most of Syria. At first, the deterioration took the form of a slight rise in the prices of gold and the US dollar which led to a limited rise in the cost of everything in Syria. However, in 2012, the Syrian economy began to collapse faster for several reasons, the most important of which:

  • The siege of the industrial capital of Syria – Aleppo and the destruction of all industrial areas and the robbing of many factories and smuggling the loot to Turkey by the Free Syrian Army (FSA).
  • The control of the FSA and Al-Nusra Front over most of the Syrian gas and oil fields in Hasakah, Homs and Deir Ezzour and starting the illegal oil trade with Turkey.
  • The US and European sanctions, which illogically included all sectors of the Syrian economy, including even the health sector.
  • The isolation of the agricultural Hasakah province from the rest of the government-held areas by the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and the Al-Nusra Front.

Because of the facts mentioned above, the value of the Syrian pound dropped tenfold during the six years of war. In addition to it, the destruction or occupation of the sources of raw materials and the industrial zones, led to the collapse of the Syrian industry almost completely which meant mainly relying on imports to provide the needs of the Syrians which also reflected negatively on the value of the Syrian currency and raised the cost of living in Syria more than 10 times.

Today, Syria relies mainly on imports from Russia, Iran, China and India.

The Syrian government has also obtained many credit lines for the import of basic goods by the Iranian and Russian governments in particular.

The absence of a fair tax system has led to the growth of the wealth of some Syrian traders, as well as the absence of a fair wage system in the private sector, and the absence of any controls on the import and pricing of commodities that are not considered essential, such as smartphones and other industrial or agricultural products.

Price inflation included all sectors from food products to industrial ones, and the rise in prices has reached imaginary levels in the residential and automobile sectors where some used cars in cost 150 thousand dollars.

In some areas, an average apartment can cost 1-2 million dollars, making buying a home almost impossible for the larger proportion of Syrians.

The economic situation also deteriorates because of the US and European sanctions and the encouragement of the Turkish mafia to illegally trade in Syria. People escaping from the poor economic situation in Syria constitute a notable part of the asylum seekers in Europe.

For the Syrians, the immigration options are just a few, as Syrians are not allowed to enter most countries of the world legally, forcing them to follow illegal methods such as forging passports or smuggling by the sea or land.

Syrians are even banned from obtaining residence in Lebanon.

Iran, Russia, Turkey, Malaysia, and China are among the very few countries that still receive Syrians legally for work or study purposes.

Syria has a compulsory recruitment system in the Syrian Arab Army, where every Syrian male above 18 must serve for 24 months or 18 months in case he has a university degree. The compulsory service includes all different religions and races with the exception of Jews due to their sensitivity to the fact that Israel is the main enemy of the Syrian Army, and Palestinian refugees serve in the Palestinian Liberation Army.

If the family has only one son, he is exempt from military service, or one of the children may not serve in the army if all his brothers are conscripts or in the reserve military service.

In 2012, with the escalation of attacks by the Al-Nusra Front and the FSA, the numbers in the SAA has declined significantly due to the loss of many areas in eastern and northern Syria and the large losses in the ranks of the formation.

However, the government quickly undertook a series of emergency steps, including making the service of the soldier in the same governorate, allowing the possibility of contracting reservists.

The Syrian government allowed former Syrian army veterans and former officers the possibility of establishing combat groups belonging to the Republican Guard, the 4th Division, the Military Intelligence, or the Air Force Intelligence, as well as the establishment of the National Defense Force of civilians. These steps led to a major recovery in the manpower of the Syrian army, especially in 2015 when the Syrian army began to regain control of large territories and the return of many former defectors the army.

The areas of control of the government and the Syrian army are relatively safe areas for a country in a state of war, as these territories are the only ones that still include the Syrians from various religious and ethnic groups and allow everyone to move, work and study without any restrictions.

Grad rockets and mortars, which are often used by the Free Syrian Army, are the main threat to the civilians in areas such as the city of Aleppo city in the past, and right now the northern Hama countryside.

Suicide attacks by terrorist organizations such as ISIS and the Al-Nusra Front are another threat to civilians in all government-held areas.

Most of the strategic roads controlled by the Syrian government witness a heavy presence of barriers and checkpoints such as the roads of: Homs-Damascus, Athriya-Khanasir-Aleppo, Damascus-Suwieda, Damascus-Daraa. Whereas the barriers are significantly reduced within the cities, and many of the governorates controlled by the government are now completely free of barriers, thus easing the movement of Syrians in their daily lives significantly, thanks to the great efforts of the intelligence against the sleeping cells of the HTS and ISIS. The Syrian intelligence relies on ambushes and raids to prevent any terrorist attacks, and although there is no complete safety, the security situation is improving gradually.

Before the crisis, most Syrians worked in the public sector and put great pressure on the Syrian budget. However, after 6 years of war, most Syrians are working in the private sector or private small businesses, and the growth of the private sector and the increase in the productivity of the Syrian citizens indicate that the Syrian economy can recover quickly in the post-war phase.

The Syrian economy witnessed a slight improvement after the liberation of Aleppo, the opening of the road linking Hasakah and Aleppo through the eastern Aleppo countryside and Manbaj, and the restoration of control over most of the Syrian gas fields.

It is expected that the economy will witness a greater improvement in the event of return of the Iraqi-Syrian border to work, and the capture of the large oil fields in Deir Ezzour by the SAA, which will enable the Syrian government to reduce its expenses significantly, allowing to accelerate the reconstruction process with the participation of Syria’s main allies – Russia, China and Iran.

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  • Stephen

    Please note: in Al Tanf South Syria the Ezraheli terrorists are there instead of Trump forces. The Trump admin help Ezrahel to take the South and East Syria. ISIS, FSA, HTS, SDF and YPG are just labels of Ezraheli terrorist groups. This is CIA, MI6, DGSE and Mossad plan.

    • Joe Doe

      THerefore, Assad should rearm SAA with better weapons, such as S-400, Pantsir, Newest Airplanes, Helicopter, VERBA MANPAD and etc.

      • Free man

        And where would he get the money?

        • Red Tick Alert

          Iranian and Russian governments in particular, but China and India PLUS it doesn’t need to be money; promises of rebuilding towns and cities + the infrastructure starting with the oil industry so it should be self funding.

          • Solomon Krupacek

            no country gave, no country will give money. china and indiy for what reason? they are not allies of syria.

          • Red Tick Alert

            Future interests in rebuilding, water plants, agriculture projects and oil production.

          • Free man

            None of these countries have an interest in providing military equipment worth billions of dollars without payment. I agree that it is very worthwhile for them to carry out civil projects that will generate profits to companies from their countries.
            I also think that Russia, China, and India would like the war in Syria to end. An arms race will achieve the opposite.

          • Red Tick Alert

            You at probably right. Cheers..

        • Real Anti-Racist Action

          I think it is more likely that Israel bullies Russian behind the scenes and prevents Russia from giving Syria the true equipment that can truly defend Syria.
          That is why Syrians themselves will never have S-400 of there own, or Armada-tanks or 5th generation fighters, at least not till they are obsolete like when 7th generation fighters will be the norm many decades from now.
          http://ihr.org/

          • Free man

            Russia and especially Putin think only of Russia and what is good for Russia.
            It is true that Putin is trying to maintain good relations with everyone, including the Americans and Israel. But it is not at the expense of the Russian interest.
            Look at what the Syrian army has achieved since Russia began to actively help him. Assad wins thanks to Russian help. On the other hand, Russia will not give billions of dollars worth of equipment as a gift.

  • Free man

    Nice to see a woman without a face veil.
    To me, that’s the most important thing. It shows that the jihadists are losing.

    • goingbrokes
    • Xanatos

      Very few Syrian women wear a face veil, except in militia held territory like HTS or ISIS. The face veil is not Syrian custom. It shows a foreign influence. The hijab, or hair cover, is traditional, especially among older women and women in small villages.

      Before the war Damascus (and most of Syria) was transitioning from a country where most women do not cover their hair ( especially in the 1970s) to more than half the woman choosing to wear the hijab in the (since the 2000s). Even today, it is still common to find a Sunni Muslim woman in Syria not covering her hair. But only in government controlled areas where they feel safe to do so.

      To avoid getting attacked by some terrorist, many Syrian woman are choosing to wear the hijab out of fear and not Personal conviction or family custom.

      The Muslim dress code requires modesty. Different cultures have different standards of modesty. Syrian standards were historically always less strict than standards in the Arabian peninsula. You can’t judge a Saudi woman for wearing the face veil because it is their custom. But it is not a Syrian custom.

      When a Saudi woman lives in the West, where the standards of modesty are very different, they still feel it is their religious duty to maintain their Saudi customs for modesty. This is because Even though she may live in the West, she still needs to maintain ties with friends and relatives in Saudi Arabia.

      • nshah

        Hahaha.. in my country when those saudi women comes for vacation especially in jun-dec, they will take off their hijab in cabs right after landing .. Lol..

  • Onionize

    I think now is the time that Asia stands up against the west. It will be a coalition against NATO that delivers an Ultimatum… politically it’s acceptable to do now. Even that church, the UN, is tired of being embarrassed. The EU is sick of them, all their friends are tired of the USA government. Only business interests keep them motivated.
    I think this is where the Anglo-american empire begins to lose territory, and Asia gains it. There is an over all dark view of America in public opinion, you can’t discount soft power, and the US no longer has a diplomatic corps. You don’t need diplomats if your not going to follow any laws, just generals.
    They will lose their first major battle, some men, and shiny toys, threaten to go nuclear, and Asia won’t blink. It will be a line in the sand with a drawn gun, people are tired of the third party plausible deniability death squad theater, even at home. people roll their eyes at media figures, they are no longer viewed as objective presenters by anyone with critical thinking ability. It’s not a prestigious career anymore, they’ve become like lawyers…moral relativists.
    Yankee government won’t back down either, they’ll threaten and flail around, but won’t have the courage to invade Asia proper. They’ll go home and will be allowed to save some face if they leave quietly. They’ll shout how victorious they are, then go home and kick the Canadians and Mexicans in a good show of domestic abuse by a humiliated husband. They will also light fires in Europe and South America out of spiteful wrenching bitterness, as punishment. Then monsters will appear… Nothing good or evil about it, just dynastic cycle that’s run its coarse since the defeat of Napoleon. Been way overdue anyways. It’s going to get scary.