The U.S. administration is rushing to restore life to the factory of the French cement company Lafarge, which merged in 2015 with the Swiss company Holcim. It is under the control of the pro-U.S. separatist Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militias, east of Ain al-Arab in the northeastern Aleppo countryside.
SDF militia allowed the company’s maintenance teams, which were proven to be involved in supporting the terrorist organization ISIS, to enter its headquarters early last week. This came in parallel with the entry of the U.S. occupation forces to the nearby Khrab Eshk base, in the context of excluding militia-controlled areas from the so-called sanctions.
Sources close to the SDF militias in Ain al-Arab confirmed to Al-Watan, that the company Lafarge-Holcim, which stopped working during the withdrawal of the U.S. occupation forces from it in May 2019 following the decision of former U.S. President Donald Trump to withdraw from Syria, may recover some of its production capacity of 3 million tons of black cement by the end of next month. This is of course in the absence of obstacles such as securing spare parts for the work of the factory’s maintenance teams, including engineers, technicians, and company workers. The plant began repair work on the 16th of May, in conjunction with the restoration of Khrab Eshk.
The company received U.S. guarantees to provide protection for its maintenance crews, who arrive at night and day to complete the tasks required of them on time, from the SDF militias. This is until the stationing of the U.S. occupation forces in Khrab Eshk, which will protect the plant and its operators.
According to the sources, the separatist militias also promised to secure all the production components of Lafarge-Holcim, especially the fuel for the electric power station inside the plant.
Observers of the situation in north and northeast Syria deplored the Biden administration’s efforts to restart Lafarge-Holcim, which stopped working between 2014 and 2016 after taking off four years due to the clashes between the SDF militias and the terrorist organization ISIS. In view of the confirmation by the French judiciary in July 2018, the French court of appeal in Paris confirmed the French company’s complicity in “crimes against humanity” in Syria until the end of 2014, by paying millions of euros to ISIS to continue the activities of its factory, whether by purchasing the fuel needed to operate it from the terrorist organization or by selling its cement production to it.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.