Following protests, Kurdish-led authorities in northeast Syria overturn fuel price increase
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) - The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) on Wednesday overturned a recent increase in the prices of automobile fuel, petrol, and cooking gas after widespread protests erupted against the decision in multiple cities.
The AANES' decision, announced on Monday, sparked widespread protests in Qamishlo, Hasakah, Amude, Deir al-Zor and Shadadi, the Syria-based Rojava Information Center (RIC) wrote in a tweet on Wednesday, explaining that demonstrations in Shadadi “left several wounded, including Asayish [security forces], when Asayish shot at protestors, some armed. The number of injured is unknown.”
AANES' decision to raise gas & fuel prices has sparked widespread protests & strikes in Qamishlo, Heseke, Amude, Deir-ez-Zor & Shehdaddi.— Rojava Information Center (@RojavaIC) May 18, 2021
Shehdaddi protests left several wounded, including Asayish, when Asayish shot at protestors, some armed. The number of injured is unknown.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) released a statement on Wednesday that explained that the civilian authorities of the Administration are responsible for public services and the “demands and protests of citizens related to the rise in fuel prices.”
“Events that fuel violence pose a threat to society and are of no use to our people,” it said about the protests in Shaddadi and the rest of Hasakah province.
Many Kurdish political parties in Syria opposed the decision, including the opposition Kurdish National Council (KNC) party, the rival of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which plays a dominant role in the AANES civil administration.
The KNC said price increases would lead to increased pressure on civilians while the region is undergoing a recession due to the rising cost of food and other commodities, compounded a currency crisis and Syria’s decade-long conflict.
Talal Mohammad, the co-chair of Syria's Kurdish Peace Party, which is also part of the local AANES administration, told Kurdistan 24 on Tuesday that his group was firmly against the price hike.
“Nobody has consulted us regarding what is going on,” he said. “When there are strategic decisions they do not consult with their partners like us. That’s why the people went to the streets because this decision was not consulted well, or planned well.”
“The Resolution 119 passed on May 17th, 2021 relevant to the oil price increase in North Eastern Syria, is being revoked,” the AANES said in a statement in Arabic on Wednesday.
“All prices prior to Resolution 119 are to remain in effect until a new resolution is passed or a modification is made.”
Editing by John J. Catherine