SYRIA: Collapse of the Syrian Pound re-ignites the revolution in the south, makes Turkish Lira de facto currency in the north

AS-SUWAYDA and ALEPPO, Syria – Living conditions in Syria continue to deteriorate as the steady decline of the Syrian Pounds turns into a complete collapse, the Syrian regime seemingly powerless to prevent the entire country from slipping into abject poverty and hunger.

The dire economic situation in the country has had major political repercussions, with people taking to the streets throughout the country in protest against the worsening situation and the regime, who are largely viewed as corrupt and having mismanaged the economy.

In the areas hardest hit, some people have been forced to scavenge through garbage to feed themselves and their families – something many have not had to do despite nearly a decade of civil war.

There have even been unverified reports that some parents have sold body organs to feed their children. While such cases are difficult to believe, and no evidence of such cases has emerged, the rumors indicate the feelings of desperation among the public.

Protests have been widest spread in the south, with sizable crowds in Daara and As-Suwayda taking to the streets and chanting slogans calling for President Bashar al-Assad to stepdown.

Daara was one of the first provinces to rise up against the Syrian regime at the beginning of the revolution in 2011.

Private sources told SuroyoTV that in As-Suwayda province, security forces of the Syrian regime arrested civil activist Raed al-Khateeb on Tuesday. He was taken to an unknown destination due to his participation in the demonstrations that called for the departure of the Assad.

Al-Khateeb has become well known for his political activity and his participation in the protests of As-Suwayda that have been occurring for nearly a week now.

In the north of the country, in the areas of Idlib and Aleppo controlled by Turkish-backed opposition groups, large amounts of Turkish currency have begun to circulate after the opposition coalition’s government announced the formal adoption of the Turkish Lira in an effort to stabilize the local economy.

The decision to replace the Syrian Pound came in a Tuesday statement issued by the opposition affiliated Syrian Interim Government. The statement declared that denominations of 5, 10, and 20 Turkish Lira would be pumped into the area.

On Wednesday, the pricing of goods as shops in northern Aleppo was displayed in Turkish Lira, rather than the Syrian Pound.