Syria’s warring sides trade wheat for flour 敘利亞交戰雙方以小麥換麵粉

Sat, Aug 10, 2013 - Page 10

Away from the battlefield, some Syrian rebels are doing business with the same government they are trying to topple.

Both sides want to keep providing basics like bread, fuel and water in the areas they control. When shifting front lines split up supply chains, they started to trade.

In the northwestern Idlib province, rebels control most of the wheat fields but have no way to grind the grain into flour. The government has the flour mill, but can’t get enough wheat to supply it.

The two worked out a deal. Every week, the rebels deliver tens of thousands of tons of wheat to the mill in Idlib city. The government grinds it down, takes a cut, and sends it back.

“Wheat is not something to do with the government, it’s something to do with the people,” said Abu Hassan, an opposition figure who works in a bakery in Salqin, a town in Idlib province.