Are the fires a war against Rojava’s economy?

First published on ANF English, 12 June, 2019

ISIS was defeated in the military arena, but now the Northern and Eastern Syrian Federation is fighting against fires. With the start of the harvest season, suspicious fires have destroyed decares of cultivated lands.

Northern and Eastern Syrian Federation, with its vast swathes of cultivated lands, has suffered several suspicious fires in recent weeks.


The most recent fires have destroyed 28 decares of cultivated land. Heyder El Musa from the Raqqa Civilian Council Agriculture Directorate said: “The fields that form the basis of the region’s economy are being destroyed with fires.”

The fires come at a time of increased production and a lowering of prices. The city had surplus vegetables after citizens reorganized their lives post-ISIS, so they had been selling to neighboring cities.

El Musa said: “Enemy forces want to hinder our economic project by burning down cultivated lands. This year we had good rains, and the yield was at the expected level. But there are forces that target the economy of Northern and Eastern Syria this way.”

El Musa said firefighting units stand ready at various locations in case of emergencies and added: “We will protect the livelihood of our people. We will put out the fires in solidarity and we will cover the damages.”

The Northern and Eastern Syrian Autonomous Administration also issued an urgent call early in the week and said, “Our people in Northern and Eastern Syria, especially citizens in the Cizire region, must be ready and support the firefighters and authorities to fight the fires breaking out in the wheat and barley fields.”


Cizire Region Executive Council said the fires target the economy: “The fires in the region are a deliberate part of the special war and they target the sources of income for the people and the economy itself.”


Fires broke out in the Til Hemis and Tirbespiye districts of Qamishlo, Dirbesiye district of Heseke and Amude town and Til Kocer in the Cizire region this week.

Cultivated lands were destroyed in 16 villages of the Til Hemis district and 10 villages of Dirbesiye. With efforts by firefighters and locals, the fires were put out on June 11.

Fires broke out in the Biriva village of Amude and the fires in Til Lehim and Barde villages 15 km west of Til Hemis district center caused great damages.

The fire that broke out in fields in Til Kocer on June 11 were put out by the firefighters and locals.

The biggest fire broke out in Tirbespiye. The fires spread and YPG/YPJ fighters joined the efforts to put them out. 100,000 decares [10,000 hectares] of land were destroyed in the fire.