The Syrian regime has been enforcing an embargo on the Sheikh Maqsood (Şêxmeqsûd) and Eşrefiyê neighbourhoods in the Syrian city of Damascus for two weeks. People have called on the Damascus government, which has blocked the transportation of daily necessities and fuel, to remove the embargo.
According to ANHA’s report, the 4th brigade of the Syrian army has closed down roads and demanded high taxes to allow the transportation of basic necessities. Taxes vary for different goods. For instance, soldiers have reportedly demanded four Syrian lira to allow the transportation of a fuel truck.
Hêlan Mihemed, a local resident, said the Syrian regime suppressed the neighbourhoods because those places were not under their direct control.
Current living conditions
Due to both the Caesar Act imposed by the United States on the Syrian regime and the embargo implemented by the Syrian regime, Semir Ebdo, another resident in the region, said they were having significant difficulties in meeting their needs, and could not access fuel for winter because of high prices.
Another local resident, Serhed Mihemed, confirmed the difficulty of obtaining basic necessities. People from Sheikh Maqsood and Eşrefiyê made an appeal to the Syrian regime to stop embargo policies.
Not the first embargo
The Syrian regime had previously imposed similar embargoes on cantons in North East Syria. According to an ANHA report, Syrian miltary troops caused difficulties for people in the Sahba (Şehba) canton due to the migration of civilians from Afrin (Efrîn) after Turkey’s attacks targeting the city in 2018. The regime forces set check points on the roads to the canton and taxed people tranporting goods. It was also reported that regime forces blocked transportation from Sahba to Damascus, including ambulances. According to local sources, 50 people lost their lives due to these obstacles.