Recent reports indicate that the Katerji brothers, possibly the most influential business figures to have emerged during the Syrian conflict, are facing increasing pressure from the Syrian authorities. The Katerji Group, a group of various companies owned by Hussam, Baraa, and several of their brothers, control several large investment projects in or around Aleppo that are nominally in the hands of the state.
The Ministry of Defence has announced two new types of contracts for citizens to voluntarily enlist in the Syrian army with a base salary of SYP 1,300,000, equivalent to around seven times the base salary of a civil servant.
The Syrian government announced on November 13 the renewal of the three-month authorisation for the United Nations to send aid through the Bab Al-Salameh and Al-Rai border crossings into the northwest.
The Syrian Trade Establishment has announced profits worth SYP 33 billion in the first ten months of 2023, triggering criticism among Syrians grappling with rising prices of essential goods.
The local council of Jarabulus has introduced a USD 200 fee for Syrians living in Turkey who want to enter Syria - for a period of up to 30 days - through the Jarabulus crossing in northern Aleppo.
The Syrian government has increased by 74 percent the price of bottled water produced by state-owned factories. This is the third price hike of bottled water this year. Syrians increasingly depend on bottled water for drinking as electricity shortages have hampered water pump operations across the country, and tap water quality has sharply declined due to conflict-related damage to water infrastructure.
Syria recorded an annual inflation rate of 84.9 percent in 2022, compared to an average of 5.1 percent in the rest of Arab countries and 8.5 percent recorded globally, according to the Annual Bulletin of the Syrian Centre for Policy Research, published on October 12. The hike in prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages contributed to 41.3 percent of last year’s general inflation, followed by the housing, water, electricity and gas category, then transportation and health.
Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad recently doubled the fees for consular services through Law No. 19, issued on October 29, to fill state coffers and generate more foreign currency revenues.
The UN Humanitarian Air Service has been temporarily halted in Syria after several Israeli airstrikes left Damascus and Aleppo airports out of service.
Syria and Russia have signed an agreement to strengthen economic cooperation and bolster joint investments. On October 28 and 29, the Joint Syrian-Russian Intergovernmental Committee for Scientific, Technical, Commercial, and Economic Cooperation met in Moscow to ink the deal focusing on infrastructure development (including transportation and public works) and the agricultural, industrial, and pharmaceutical sectors.
In an escalation of hostilities unseen in northwest Syria since 2019, the Syrian regime and Russian forces targeted 2,300 locations in Idlib and the Aleppo governorate in October.
Although its capabilities and attacks have steadily declined since 2019, ISIS is using areas in northeast Syria to extort locals to offset their dwindling cash reserves.
On October 18, the EU General Court issued six decisions ordering the Syrian government to repay 2017-2022 instalment dues for overdue loans totalling EUR 73 million and CHF 1.98 million.
In recent months, Iranian investors have stepped up their presence within the Syrian economy, launching various projects in the agriculture and insurance sectors.
The Israeli retaliation after the Hamas’ attack on October 7 has led to violent echoes in the region: from deadly flare-ups in the Lebanese-Israeli border, exchange of fire in southern Syria, Israel’s airstrikes at Damascus and Aleppo airports, to U.S. bases in Syria and Iraq targeted in drone attacks by Iranian affiliated groups. The announced Israeli ground invasion of Gaza could be an important turning point with regards to regional escalation as Iran and Hezbollah made the potential invasion their main red line.
In an apparent step towards global reintegration, a Syrian delegation made a rare appearance at the annual meeting of the WB and the IMF.
Over the years, the relationship between Hamas and Syria has gone through significant transformations.
Damascus International Airport has resumed flights after being hit by an Israeli airstrike on October 12, while the Aleppo International Airport remains - at the moment of publishing - out of service after coming under Israeli fire twice, on October 12 and October 14. It appears flights in Aleppo airport will resume Wednesday 18, since two flights to Erbil and Sharjah are scheduled that day, according to Flightradar24.
An often-overlooked chapter in Syria’s war economy relates to the obscure system of prisons; from the confiscation of assets of detainees, to the extortion of families of detainees and forcibly disappeared who pay bribes attempting to secure their release or seek information about their whereabouts. Both constitute an income for the Syrian regime that remains difficult to quantify.
Turkish-backed northwest authorities will hold the ‘First Investment Conference in Northwest Syria' in the Al-Rai Industrial City in December to attract investments to the region.