A new crisis is being faced by the people of Idlib governorate with a bread crisis that began at the end of November with the reduction in the weight of a loaf of bread, an increase in its price, and the increase of subsidies from it, as a loaf decreased from 700 grams to 450 grams in just one month.
A large number of families in Idlib were enjoying bread subsidized by some public civil society organizations in Idlib, most notably GOAL, and the subsidized bread covered about 40% of the population of the Idlib region, according to Syria TV.
The website confirmed that the subsidized bread also included subsidies for the materials from which the bread is made, namely flour and yeast, without including the wages of workers in subsidized bread bakeries.
Causing and trading in the crisis
Since the bread crisis began in Idlib, its price has risen, and the voices of citizens in the governorate have risen to demand a solution to the bread crisis and all economic crises.
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) leader Abu Mohammad al-Julani came out and made several false promises, including supporting flour, yeast and bread within Idlib and its countryside with an estimated amount of $3 million and that bread would be subsidized in 40 bakeries in Idlib.
During a meeting of the illegitimate Shura Council that called for an emergency session to discuss the bread crisis on November 23, Julani said that work will be done to end the crisis and stabilize the weight and price of bread, explaining that economic development in the region was part of a strategic plan that began three years ago to confront the problem of food security.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the prices of the materials used in making bread are linked to the value of the Turkish currency circulating in Idlib, which HTS had imposed on the citizens and prevented the circulation of Syrian currency. The Turkish lira is currently declining against the US dollar, which has increased the suffering of the citizens in Idlib.
Terrorist monopoly and control
While HTS claims to be taking measures to save citizens from the bread crisis, the living reality is that only a small part of the money it earns as a result of its domination of all outlets and economic aspects in Idlib is going towards the crisis.
HTS has its hand on all the crossings located in its areas of control and benefits on a daily basis with tens of thousands of dollars from commercial traffic and the imposition of taxes on these crossings. It also imposes financial taxes on humanitarian organizations operating within its areas of control, estimated at 15%, in addition to other taxes on civilians, such as on shops, agriculture, etc.
According to the Syrian Observatory, HTS owns a group of projects, including the Watad Petroleum Company, which is one of the most important companies in northern Syria, and it has a monopoly on hydrocarbons in all areas under the control of HTS.