Latakia’s forests on the black market!

Latakia’s forests on the black market!
Investigations | 08 Jan 2014

Jamal al-Din al-Abdullah - Latakia In order to halt the progress of the opposition, the Syrian regime has burned large tracts of Latakia’s forests dating back hundreds of years. The regime has also refused to extinguish the fires caused by the shelling and clashes. The locals who are stuck in the area in this tragic situation are forced now to cut off what is left of the forests for heating and trading purposes . Logging is not new to the locals in the area, their economic situation forced them resort to it even before the revolution. Abu Thaer, a young man from the area, told us he used to cut dry trees at night for fear of stations Forestry. Nevertheless, they arrested him more than once, but usually the situation would be resolved by bribing them despite his difficult economic situation. After the burning of the largest forest Syria in the countryside of Latakia, which is now under the control of the opposition, Abu Thaer started cutting off the burnt trees to sell them to traders who would sell them in the rest of the country. Abu Thaer maintains that he is selling at a low price so that the poor people could buy the wood and use it for heating, especially now that the prices of heating fuel have rocketed, in addition to the suffering in the besieged area and continuous disruption in the power supply. "We started selling each ton of firewood for 2000 SYP for traders, thinking that they would sell them at a reasonable price. Later, we found out that they are selling each ton for twenty to thirty thousands, so we confronted the traders who denied everything. Therefore we stopped working with them." Abu Thaer reported that there are people who are cutting off the remainder of the green trees which have not been touched by fire, but he stressed that he'd rather starve to death before touching green trees.


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