The London-based newspaper Asharq al-Awsat has reported that a delegation of Arab-American investors, accompanied by an official from the Arab Chamber of Commerce in the United States, has visited areas controlled by Turkey and its factions in northern Syria.
According to the source, the first meeting held by the delegation was on Sunday, 11th September, at the Free University of Aleppo. The meeting took place with several officials in the Interim Government of Ankara factions and several heads of local councils. These attendees briefed the delegation on the reality of the services available to citizens and the economic situation in the region more generally.
The delegation, accompanied by several Syrian opposition officials, toured the cities of Afrin, al-Bab and al-Rai. It inspected these areas thoroughly, met with several local merchants and civilian figures, and listened to the region’s urgent need for investment and development projects, which can contribute to supporting the region’s economy.
During the meeting, investors were also consulted on the possibility of implementing several investment projects. These initiatives include factories for producing food, steel, and other commodities. “[The projects] can be launched in the coming period to provide new job opportunities for young Syrians in the northern regions,” Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
Some observers viewed the visit as part of a Turkish plan to “leave the region” and subject the area to Turkish influence for decades. Some pointed out that the initiative is part of the Turkish project to establish a “safe zone” for resettling Syrian refugees.
The delegation’s visit coincides with talk of promises made by the United States to boost the economic circumstances in areas controlled by Turkey and its factions.
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.