Opposition bakeries struggle to serve a hungry citizenry

August 30, 2015

Regime warplanes continue targeting, damaging and destroying rebel-run bakeries, in a reportedly systematic campaign to deprive civilians in opposition-held cities and lands of bread.

“In the free Hama countryside, the only bakery around is the one we’re building–right now, people from all the surrounding villages have to drive out all the way to the southern Idlib countryside to get bread,” Mahmoud a-Shamali, a Hama-based journalist, told Syria Direct on Sunday.

The new, $89,000 bakery is more than a hole-in-the wall, neighborhood shop: It will expectedly serve some 30,000 people, reported pro-opposition Hara Radio on Friday, covering “70% of their food needs,” noted a-Shamali.

The new project is a welcome one: Long, tough-to-travel distances between bakeries, and a scarcity of everything from flour to fuel, has “spiked local bread prices to about 125 Syrian Pounds [for about 12 slices],” explained a-Shamali–five-times the pre-war average of approximately 25 Syrian Pounds.

The further a town or village is from a bakery, the harder price hikes hit. “If you add up all the costs tied up with going out and getting bread, like gas, we end up paying 500 Syrian Pounds a bag [or about 12 slices],” said a rural Hama resident to Radio Hara on Friday.

Regime air and artillery contribute directly to soaring prices, and a general unavailability of bread in Syria. Targeting bakeries and bread lines since the war’s start, the regime most infamously struck the Hama-countryside bakery of “Halfia” in December of 2012, killing at least 94 civilians.

– Photo courtesy of Radio Hara FM

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