The Syrian regime has imposed taxes of foods going in and out of the Idlib region, creating economic pressure for local residents.
The Idlib Province has been besieged for a number of months as it represents the final main stronghold of a variety of rebel groups that are in conflict with the Syrian regime and its allied military forces. Despite frequent skirmishes between rebels and the regime forces over the past few months in the Greater Idlib region, there is a demarcated demilitarised zone (DMZ) that separate the two sides. The Syrian regime has thus attempted to indirectly cause the deterioration of economic conditions in Idlib so as to weaken the local economy and, thus, the impetus of the rebels, as well as sowing the seeds of social discontent.
The tax enforced by the Syrian regime on products going in an out of Idlib have led to a dramatic inflation of prices of food products that have largely become unaffordable for part of the local population.
“The main reason is the tax being imposed by the regime on vegetables, fruits, and food entering these areas. On the other hand, we have taken some measures to prevent the entry of certain foodstuff into the regime-controlled areas in order to pressure it to reduce the value of taxes on food entering these areas”, said Qeys al-Shami, an official working at the Mansourah crossing in Aleppo Province.
To make matters worse for ordinary citizens, the situation within the province has been made even more difficult due to the totalitarian measure taken by the extremist rebel group Hayy’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). The group has blocked international aid coming in to Idlib Province, a lifeline for many, and it has imposed harsh laws through its affiliated “Syrian Salvation Government”, which is governing territories whose people have not been willing to cede to the HTS’ rule. The Syrian regime is hoping that conditions in the region will deteriorate to such an extent that entering and re-occupying those areas will become an easier task in the near future.