Source: Arabic.Net – Joanne Suz
On this principle, the grinding war that Syria has been witnessing for years has created great businessmen who have accumulated tremendous fortunes, taking advantage of their position in support of the President of the Syrian regime, Bashar Al-Assad, from the popular protests that broke out in the country in mid-March of 2011, while the Syrian currency is witnessing a significant deterioration In its exchange rate against foreign currencies.
And while the name of Rami Makhlouf, the son of al-Assad and known and punished European and American businessmen, was leading the economic scene in the country for years, other names that no one knew before the current war appeared, among them Samer Fawz, Muhammad Hamsho and Hussam Qatirji with his brothers and others.
Economists say that “the new businessmen in Syria amassed their fortunes after they played the role of mediator between the Assad government and the various military groups that took control of several cities in the country.”
The new rich class
According to experts, European and American sanctions against businessmen close to Assad, such as Makhlouf, have contributed to giving new businessmen a greater opportunity to amass their wealth. They have also played the role of mediator between punishing Assad businessmen and banks and major companies outside Syria.
And Al-Arabiya.net obtained information that “the Syrian businessman who rose to star during the war years, Hussam KaterjiIt is only a cover for his older brother, Muhammad Baraa, because the latter did not obtain a good educational level. ”
Wheat, oil, and ISIS
According to the information, the capital influx of the brothers Hossam and Muhammad Bara ‘Company, known as the family (Qatirji), is due to their ability to purchase wheat from various military groups that took control of Raqqa, Deir Ezzor and some of Hasaka’s countryside.
The commercial dealings between the “Qatirji” company and the Syrian armed opposition groups were not limited, but also dealt with the “ISIS” organization and was able to supply wheat from its regions to the areas of the Syrian regime’s forces in 2014, in addition to oil, although the latter denied earlier that this happened .
The company also dealt with the “Syrian Democratic Forces” at the same time, according to media reports indicating that “the Qatirji Company, which is supervised by the two brothers, Muhammad Bara and Husam, is shared by their third and younger brother, Mohamed Agha.”
Alongside Qatirji, the name Samer Fouz, a businessman known for his support for Assad, is frequently mentioned. He runs a group of companies and hotels in Europe and Turkey, owned by him. It also has industrial and tourism facilities in Syria and Africa.
The victory emerged as a rising businessman in the country after the European and American sanctions against Makhlouf. The latter helped in most of his investments, but the sanctions also affected him in the middle of last year.
Although many businessmen punished the system and accused them of “corruption and tax evasion”, they were not excluded from them. His cousinRami Makhlouf, along with Hamsho and his family’s son-in-law Ayman Jaber and dozens of other businessmen, but Qatirji and Fouz still enjoy “immunity” from him.
In addition, well-informed sources revealed to Al-Arabiya.net that “Qaterji always meets with Assad and supports his soldiers with money, which gives him additional insurance for his suspected business in Syria.” He also established an armed militia that belonged to him earlier and was fighting its elements alongside Assad’s forces.
It is noteworthy that, over the past years, Assad intentionally withdrawing funds from businessmen who were close to him, but nonetheless, economists question the validity of the sanctions imposed on them by the regime.
The financial deficit of the Assad government
Commenting on this issue, the Syrian academic and economist, Khorshid Alika, told Al-Arabiya.net that the government of the Syrian regime married the name of Makhlouf and his wife’s uncle as part of some precautionary decisions at the end of last year, so that no complaint would arise from the rest of the merchants and officials, especially The Ministry of Finance is seeking to raise funds from more than 500 businessmen and investors in the country. ”
The Syrian academic and economist pointed out that “the real reason behind the reserve seizure of the money of businessmen close to Assad is the financial deficit. The government needs a new source of funds after the exchange rate of one US dollar exceeded one thousand and one hundred Syrian pounds.”
Settlement with 30 business leaders
In the last quarter of last year, the government of the Syrian regime made a settlement with 30 business leaders in Syria after accusing them of “corruption, graft, and benefiting from the conditions of war.”
The economist described this compromise with the decisions of pre-trial detention as a “formality measure”, which aims to persuade the Syrians to “fight corruption among all businessmen,” he said.