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Saws Drown Out Shelling in Daraa

Tress are being downed for wood for heating and for trade
Saws Drown Out Shelling in Daraa

The sound of electric saws is now competing with the sound of artillery in Daraa, as people cut down trees for heating and building, raising fears the green areas in the province will be destroyed.


Messages appeared on social networking sites, deploring the now common practice.


“In a month there will not be a single tree in Daraa's dam region. Today I have witnessed the disappearance of a green area.  I can understand that it is too cold and people need heat, but what I can't understand is the illegal trade in wood, without any thought given to the future. There is a race to cut down as many trees as possible from Deraa's dam region and the sound of electric saws is now louder than the sound of shelling,” wrote one user on Facebook


Olive trees and grape vines are being cut to use for heating after Assad's forces already  burned areas of olive and grape plantations in Tafas and Daraa al-Balad to clear the area and storm the cities.


Journalist Muayyad Aba Zeid from Daraa al-Balad said condemning the act and providing advice on how many trees to cut is acceptable, but “why should we blame the people who are suffer from cold? Shouldn't we blame the friendly countries who did nothing to help?”


“It is clear that the motivation will keep the situation unchanged, and the problem will not be solved unless fuel can be provided to people just like the regime provides fuel in the areas under its control,  just three kilometers far from Daraa al-Balad,” he added.


In the countryside of Daraa, whole forests have disappeared.


"We are obliged to cut the trees because of the overwhelming cold. There is no electricity, no gas and no fuel, so we cut the tress for cooking and heating,” explain residents.


Despite warnings of the consequences of the continuous and random tree cutting, the practice has become widely accepted.
In the areas described as “liberated”, someone with an electric saw can earn $5 daily, while the truck driver earns $150 dollars to transport one ton of wood. Some, therefore  consider it a non-profit job, demanding that there should be more control and prosecution of the traders.


Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer


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