A gasoline crisis has erupted in areas held by the Bashar Assad regime in Syria due to soaring inflation emanating from the occupation of 70 percent of the country's oil reserves and refineries by the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG).
Syria was a country that was able to meet its fuel need by refining petrol drilled prior to the civil war. However, recently there has been a serious shortage in oil in areas that are under the control of the Assad regime, which has started to turn into a serious crisis.
Even though the trade of petrol is possible between the regime and YPG terrorists, oil cannot be transformed into fuel since the refineries were damaged during the war.
About 70 percent of Syria's oil resources lie within the territories currently occupied by the U.S.-backed YPG. For example, the terrorist organization holds the eastern part of Deir el-Zour province, located near the Iraqi border, and is one of Syria's largest energy sources. There are 11 large oilfields on the eastern side of the Euphrates, which cuts the province in to two. These oilfields make up around one-third of the energy sources in Syria.
According to information by Anadolu Agency's (AA) reporters received from local sources, in the provinces of Damascus, Aleppo, Latakia and Tartus, there are long lines of cars waiting in front of gas stations. In the city center, traffic was at a standstill because of the crisis, and many drivers slept in their cars while waiting in line.
In the face of the crisis, the regime gave people cards allowing them to receive petrol at predetermined times.
Accordingly, the owners of private cars will be able to receive 20 liters every five days, and the owners of commercial vehicles will receive 20 liters of gasoline every two days.
Syrian people have also been suffering from increasing inflation. While an average salary of a public servant stands at around 40,000 Syrian pounds ($78) per month, the price for a liter of gasoline has reached 1,000 Syrian pounds.
Sources also indicated that if the fuel crisis continues on this scale, many bakeries will be forced to close soon. In January, a similar crisis erupted in supplying propane cylinders in regime-held areas, which caused long lines of people.
The YPG has been carrying out negotiations with the Assad regime since 2017 about the occupied oil fields. In July 2017, the YPG handed over control of oil production in the Rimelan region to the regime after they signed a revenue-sharing agreement between both sides. Also, in February, the YPG agreed on a deal with the regime to transfer oil extracted from occupied areas to the regime-dominated areas in Deir el-Zour. According to the agreement, regime-affiliated companies, operating west of Deir el-Zour, were expected to lay pipes under the Euphrates to transport oil to the war-torn country's eastern provinces. The agreement aimed for a rapid transfer of oil, which was previously carried by boats.