One killed, three wounded as Turkish and Syrian opposition forces open fire on protests against electricity companies

One killed, three wounded as Turkish and Syrian opposition forces open fire on protests against electricity companies
One protester was killed during demonstrations against rising electricity prices and power cuts in Syria's northwestern Aleppo province.
2 min read
05 June, 2022
Turkish and Syrian opposition forces opened fire on protesters demonstrating against electricity price hikes [Getty]

One protester was killed and others were wounded after Turkish and Syrian opposition authorities opened fire during demonstrations against rising electricity prices in Syria’s northwestern Aleppo province, The New Arab’s Arabic language sister service Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.

Both Turkish and Turkish-backed Syrian Interim Government police shot at protesters on Friday evening and wounded at least three people as hundreds of activists stormed Turkish electricity companies in the cities of Afrin and Jindires, activist Ahmed Al-Ibrahim told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

Citizens were demonstrating against two increases in electricity prices within the past month alongside continued power cuts, as price hikes and sky-high inflation have plunged the region into deep poverty following the country's 11-year-long war.

Demonstrations also spread to electricity companies and local council buildings in the cities and towns of Marea, Soran and Al-Bab, where activists set fire to the streets and Turkish police fired tear gas, according to Al-Ibrahim.

A Syrian-Turkish electricity company STE Enerji - who supply electricity from Turkey to opposition controlled areas in northern Syria - stated its headquarters in Syria was under a "terrorist" attack, according to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

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However, the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army spokesman, Youssef Hamoud, stated he did not accept such a description of the protesters.

"We stand by our people in the liberation… when a person reaches the most extreme types of poverty and witnesses exploitation and the exploited, it is natural for him to deviate from objectivity,” Hamoud tweeted.

"We demand the honourable military leaders to go down without arms, to contain the streets with real and serious promises to find quick solutions," he added.

The so-called Committee for the Response of Grievances and Rights, formed by the opposition, had previously asked STE Enerji to tend to consumer complaints, which totalled over 1,200.

Electricity companies in the northern cities of Azaz and Afrin initially raised electricity prices to 2.5 Turkish liras per kilowatt, and then to between 3 and 4.5 Turkish liras per kilowatt, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported.