Global supply chain shocks that accelerated last month with the Russian invasion of Ukraine are having a devastating effect on Syria’s economic situation—a deteriorating situation only compounded by the Syrian pound’s first significant period of devaluation against the dollar in more than a year. Populations across northeast Syria are increasingly struggling to cope with surging food, fuel, and other commodity prices, which threaten to plunge growing numbers of people into poverty. The untenable situation is sparking intensified waves of protests, centred on the Deir Ezzor countryside, where angry demonstrators are calling for improvements to living conditions and, increasingly, the departure of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) troops from the region. Authorities have so far proven unable to provide effective relief for mounting hardships, with government policy mostly limited to low-impact measures such as the deregulation of the sale of fertilizers. Instead, official responses have been primarily punitive, with the SDF ramping up an arrest campaign and enforcing curfews over a string of unruly towns. In late March, the Self Administration also removed Deir Ezzor Civil Council Chairman Ghassan al-Youssef, a prominent advocate for tribal interests, sparking anger and threats of further instability in the weeks ahead from tribal leaders.
Attached Map: Military Situation in North-East Syria – 5th April 2022