The social media page for the “Presidency of the Syrian Arab Republic – Citizens Complaints Office” has published a response to messages that were left in recent days and directed at the head of the regime, Bashar al-Assad. The messages, written by technical, media and cultural regime loyalist figures, complained about the deteriorating economic living situation and the increase of corruption in all regime institutions.
The page blamed what it called “weak people” for trying to “create a state of mistrust between the people and the leadership.”
On Monday, a response published on the social media page said that, “Assad has not left a single corrupt figure without being held to account and there is nothing hidden from his eyes.” It accused those it described as “Islamic State members inside the country who want to destroy Syria,” and pointed to “upcoming legislative decrees that will be in the interest of the resilient Syrian people, in terms of demobilization, a general amnesty, and wage rises,” without giving details.
Since last week, pro-regime social media pages have clamored with posts that have included sharply-worded criticisms and insults of Assad government members, with even the President not being spared from reactions that blamed him for what is happening.
In a message directed at him, Nabil Hamdan from Lattakia, a member of the Physiotherapy Association, asked, “Mr. President, don’t you see the calls from everyone in this terrible situation? Mr. President, is there anyone in your government who is going cold, or without gas or without electricity or fuel or water or baby’s milk or suffering high prices … Can you really be oblivious to us, the families of martyrs?”
Hamdan threatened to commit suicide if there was no solution found to the crises raging in the regime-controlled areas. The actors Shokran Mortga, Ayman Zeidan and Bashar Ismail (known for his strong loyalty to Assad) also sent similar messages.
Areas currently under regime control have almost no electricity, water, fuel, or baby’s milk, while Syria is also undergoing snowfall and poor weather amid the collapse of the economic situation and Syrians’ buying power, as well as a major increase in the price of goods.
Statements from Assad government officials regarding excuses for the current crises have sparked angry reactions. While baby’s milk has disappeared from the markets, and the price of a packet on the black market has reached 12,000 Syrian pounds, the Interior Trade Minister said that, “the health of the citizen is precious to us,” which was met with criticism from pro-regime media.
The lack of gas has forced restaurants to close their doors in Damascus, while those that have continued to operate have had to buy gas canisters on the black market, now sold at 12,500 pounds, rather than the normal price of 4,500 pounds.
In Aleppo, the death of an infant from the cold provoked angry reactions against the Assad regime. The child’s father, Shadi al-Helou, came out in a video clip on pro-regime media and spoke about the cause of the death of his child due to the absence of fuel oil and the child’s inability to bear the cold.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.