Deir Ezzor civilians face hardships under Syrian regime

By Waleed Abu al-Khair in Cairo


The main market in the Deir Ezzor town of Albu Kamal stands virtually empty. A local activist said a surge in prices has kept customers away. [Photo circulated on social media]

Residents in areas of Deir Ezzor controlled by the Syrian regime and militias affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are facing difficult conditions as these forces control all aspects of life, an activist said.

As a result of the tributes imposed by these forces, the price of vegetables, fruit and other food has risen steeply, as has the price of fuel, local activist Jamil al-Abed told Diyaruna.

Prices for these goods and services are now beyond the means of civilians in the Deir Ezzor area, and have had an adverse impact on their lives, al-Abed said.

"Resentment is growing as a consequence of these actions and efforts by regime officials to calm the situation and offer justification have been futile," he said.


Fighters from IRGC-affiliated militias are seen in the area surrounding the Deir Ezzor province town of Albu Kamal. [Photo circulated on social media]

An additional concern, he said, is that in order to return to their homes in the province, internally displaced persons (IDPs) must first obtain authorisation from Syrian and Iran-backed forces.

Hundreds of families remain outside the area and have been prevented from returning, especially to IRGC-controlled parts of Albu Kamal and surrounding villages, he added.

'No progress' has been made

Only a few families have been allowed to return to the Albu Kamal area, al-Abed said, and generally have obtained permission to return only after agreeing to co-operate with the IRGC’s militias.

The IRGC has appropriated many houses in the Albu Kamal area, he said.

According to al-Abed, despite all attempts made by local dignitaries and senior tribal figures to resolve the issue of the return of IDPs and to improve the situation regarding the tributes and taxes, no progress has been made.

He attributed the failure of these efforts to disputes over control between the regime and the IRGC.

As an example of these disputes, he said, the IRGC’s 47th Brigade recently prevented the Syrian regime from distributing aid at al-Amin school.

The distribution process was halted altogether after tensions erupted between the two sides, which culminated in an exchange of gunfire, he said.

Do you like this article?