Aid & Development

The town of Basira is re-emerging as a trade centre in Deir ez Zour

Syria

The roads to Hasakah, Manbij, and Qamishli from Basira have opened, leading to an increase in local and regional trade.

The town of Basira in eastern Syria is experiencing a revival and re-emerging as a trade nexus in the area almost a year after the defeat of the so-called Islamic State. Basira is currently controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition of predominately Kurdish and Arab fighters that ousted ISIS militants from the town.

Located approximately 30km east of Deir ez-Zour City, Basira is a prominent town located at the junction of the Euphrates and Khabur Rivers, giving it strategic and economic importance.

Forming a key transport hub from Deir ez-Zour to the Iraqi border in the east, and towards Hasakah in the north, life is now returning to Basira, with a small hospital even set up for local women.

Markets continue to operate, which have provided a welcome boost to the local economy, and people have returned to their homes and streets after the damaging rule of ISIS.

“Here in the city of Basira, food, vegetables, and canned foods are available due to the opening of the roads of Hasakah, Manbij, and Qamishli,” said Assam Abdullah, a local. “We first lacked food, but after opening the roads the food quantities have increased.”

While the town still suffers from minor issues such as high prices for certain goods and road blockades due to the closure of some roads, locals hope that these issues will be sorted out in the future, especially given the return of security to the town.

“Previously, shops offered limited quantities of food because the roads were closed and traders feared the security situation. After the opening of roads, we have seen an increase in the quantity of food,” said Khalid al-Hamid, another local. “Also, shops and markets are full of food, vegetables, and meat. However, some citizens suffer from some high prices. After opening the roads and due to the increase in food quantities, the prices of food will be cheaper.”

Basira was captured from ISIS in November 2017 by the SDF as part of the coalition’s Jazira Storm operations, which aimed at clearing ISIS from eastern Syria.