ISIS Capture of Gas-rich Eastern Homs Forces Prices to Soar in Regime Strongholds

The price of gas has seen a steep rise in loyalist areas as news filtered in of the Islamic State's capture of Palmyra and the surrounding gas fields last week

The loss of gas-rich territory and the historic city of Palmyra in the eastern countryside of Homs to the Islamic State group last week has heavily impacted pro-regime areas due to the hike in fuel prices.

Prices soared this week amid reports of ISIS’ capture of gas fields in the eastern countryside of Homs. One cylinder of gas reached 4,000 Syrian pounds ($18.5) in regime-held areas, and 10,000 pounds ($47) in the northern countryside of Homs.

“(The) price of gas increased straight away once we heard the news about the Palmyra battle, although gas is stored before, and there is nothing to arrive in the future,” said gas store owner Abou Khalil.

Y.S., an employee in a Homs refinery told Iqtissad that ISIS control of the gas fields in Al-Shaer, Maher and Jazal has deprived the Homs refinery from producing gas cylinders.

Electricity rationing periods have increased, as power stations were unable to generate enough electricity due to a shortage of needed gas. Rationing hours in Homs city reached up to one hour of power for every 12 hours without. In some areas of Damascus city, rationing lasts for 20 hours.

The regime’s Ministry of Oil and Mineral Wealth announced that three trucks of liquid gas would be delivered next week to cover the shortage, without mentioning the source or exact time of arrival.

Last Saturday, the Islamic State began its heavy attack on the eastern countryside of Homs and the historic city of Palmyra. By Monday the group had retaken complete control of Palmyra city and the surrounding fields of Al-Shaer, Maher and Jazal.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.


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