A blackout in Damascus has angered regime supporters after rationing hours rose to 20 hours a day in poorer suburbs, and to no more than eight hours in wealthier areas, while the cuts did not affect power in some neighborhoods at all.
The increase in rationing hours coincides with a nation-wide heat wave, irking both pro-regime and anti-regime citizens alike, as the government continues to blame "armed terrorist groups" for the shortfall.
The Ministry of Electricity confirmed days ago that rationing hours have increased drastically in recent days in all provinces, "due to repeated terrorist attacks on the oil sector, causing a decline in the amount of fuel delivered to power plants, which in turn led to increased strain on available generators".
Damascenes seemed unconvinced by the ministry’s statement, as widespread discontent peaks as worsening living conditions and public services affect all areas in Syria.
A recent poll carried out by Syria’s parliament suggests that citizens consider the government, the Ministry of Electricity and the “merchants of war” responsible for the power cuts, while only 16 percent of voters accused armed groups.
A number of Assad loyalists believe the regime has increased the rationing hours deliberately, "in order to promote business deals of government officials to sell power generators and battery-powered fans”.
Worsening public services, particularly electricity, has caused widespread resentment among the pro-regime town of Sayeda Zeinab, where more and more locals accuse the Assad regime of failing to meet the needs of its residents along with foreign Shiite fighters who live in the region with their families.
Activists have noted that shops and food factory owners are affected most by the cuts, as frequent blackouts damage their goods as fuel is often too expensive to maintain backup generators.
Pro-regime media reported the on recent statements by Russia’s ambassador who said the Syrian government is determined to build a power station in the countryside of Damascus with Russian support, while an additional 12 power generators are expected to arrive from China shortly.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer