A relaxing, profitable and, quite frankly, secure job has turned into a nightmare. It is now dangerous, difficult, and simply stressful. And it is all due to the actions of the “cowardly Assad regime” and its Russian backers.
Indeed, this relates to being an oil trafficker in Northern Syria. In the past be it the ISIS oil fields, or those in the Syrian Democratic Forces-controlled areas, “exporting” oil to Turkey was an easy and simple business. This has all changed.
On March 14th, a large-scale strike with missiles and heavy rockets hit oil traffickers in the Turkish-occupied areas. The were two targets. The first was the al-Himran crossing, which is located near the town of Jarabulus on the border with Turkey. The second was the village of Tarhin north of the town of al-Bab, featuring a network of makeshift refineries and oil storage facilites. Videos and photographs showed an apocalyptic sight, with massive fires and nothing but destruction.
On March 6th, catastrophic losses were suffered by oil traffickers from missile strikes on Tarhin and al-Himran in Aleppo. More than 200 oil tankers were destroyed. The White Helmets “rescue organization” said that four people were killed in the strike. At least 42 others were injured, some of them are reportedly in critical condition.
There are a plethora of videos and photographs of attacks on oil traffickers starting from early January 2021 onwards. Initially, the strikes were attributed to unknown attackers.
In the first days of the new year, there were numerous reports of “mysterious missile strikes” targeting oil smugglers. It turned out to be a sort of tradition – tankers exploding, so that they can’t provide the almost free oil to Turkey taken away from the Syrian people.
Still, another point of view should be considered – that of the oil traffickers. If the Western establishment were asked, they would say that they are a part of the moderate opposition and that they are doing the Syrian people a favor. Taking oil away from the “bloody Assad regime” is, after all, a good thing. The Syrian government, with Russian help, ruined yet another business opportunity.
It is clear that Damascus and Moscow have joined forces to impede the business development of Northern Syria. They began by dismantling ISIS’ (illegal) oil business, and then moved on to the Turkish-backed one.
Turkey itself claims that the “Syrian regime” is simply targeting civilian settlements. According to the Turkish Defense Ministry, this was uncalled for, and warranted a response from Turkey and its proxies. There was some shelling, but ultimately it led to nothing. The tyranny of destroying the democratic oil businessmen from the “moderate opposition” has no end.