Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Crossings Become 'golden Hen Laying Golden Eggs'

Features | 2018-02-06 12:28:00
Crossings Become 'golden Hen Laying Golden Eggs'
(Eqtsad)- Goods, food and building materials enter through regime forces and militias-controlled crossings into the besieged areas of northern Homs and southern Hama countryside. 

The goods are entered without being subject to any common customs laws between countries, but are subject to the laws of the regime's militias, some of its senior officers and some crisis traders in the liberated areas.

In a special investigation, Eqtsad’s reporter in Hama reported that nothing could be brought into the besieged areas of northern Homs and southern Hama countryside without paying money, sometimes amounting to millions of liras. Regime-controlled crossings have to an exorbitant source of enrichment for leaders of regime militias, and some of its officers.

-Al-Dar al-Kabira and Barin checkpoints-

Northern Homs countryside witnessed a suffocating blockade between 2013 and 2016. People were forced to grind the legumes of animal feed such as jalbaneh and karsneh, as well as barley for bread.

In the spring of 2016, the regime was forced to open a crossing for besieged countryside in the southern part of the town of al-Dar al-Kabira, which is very close to the Homs-Aleppo highway, in return for allowing it to reopen the Homs big crossing, which links southern Syria with its north controlled by Syrian resistance in Homs countryside.

In the first months of the opening of the humanitarian crossing, the passage was limited to state employees and patients to the city of Homs. Later it turned into a road to enter food and UN aid convoys. 

A second crossing appeared in the village of Taqisis in the northeastern part of Rastan which is linked administratively to Hama province; however, it is not official, and cars are not allowed to pass through it. 

But the people pass between the liberated areas and crossing by foot.

At the beginning of 2017, a third crossing was opened in the far south of Hama, between the villages of Aqrab and Akrad Ibrahim, between the liberated Akrab and the village of Barin, which is very close to the village of Houla in the north-western Homs countryside.

Commission of car entry between (1-5) million pounds
According to Eqtsad’s reporter in Hama, the crossing of Akradbroke the siege, even partially, of the more than 350,000 people besieged in the northern Homs and Hama southern countryside. Around 6-7 trucks enter the crossing almost daily. The trucks are loaded with 30 tons of food items and about 600 bags of animal feed, a flour truck, a gas truck (500 cylinders) and about 30,000 liters of diesel (diesel), and about 10 thousand liters of gasoline, in addition to food smuggled from Turkey.

Also, Eqtsad was informed that the crossing which is controlled by "traders" of the liberated areas, and the control of the leaders of "militias" fighting alongside the regime in Hama province to the opposite generates great money for the regime militias. The money amounts daily to more than 30 million Syrian Pounds. For example, the entry fee for each truck (a locomotive) loaded with eggs, shoes or foodstuffs amount to more than 2 million Syrian Pounds. 

The tariffs for the entry of a truck carrying construction materials such as sand, cement and iron, up to one million Syrian pounds, raise this figure to 2.5 million SP on the live chicken truck, and 150$ per ton of white sugar and 500$ per ton Tea, 140$ per ton of flour, 2.5 million SP for truckloads of food, or meat, and 5 million lira for a tractor loaded with electrical appliances.

The crossings in the liberated areas do not only generate large sums of money for militia leaders and some regime officers, but also generate money for traders of in the liberated areas who have been called "crisis traders", where a number of traders in the besieged areas have managed to reap great financial fortunes within a short period.

It should be noted that Akrad Ibrahim or Barin crossings is currently the only crossing where foodstuffs, detergents and fuel enter the northern Homs and southern Hama countryside since al-Samalil crossing, opened last year for one month, allow only the passage of civilians. 

But al-Dar al-Kabira crossing as mentioned at the beginning of the report is allocated for employees in regime institutions and some patients. Currently, the crossing does not allow entry of medication or breads. On the other hand, Taqisis crossing is not fixed stable. It closes several months a year and opens in a few weeks.

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