Ras al-Ain: Scarcity in electronic appliances spare parts, solution is costly

A shop for electronic appliance repair in the city of Ras al-Ain, northern Syria - December 17, 2023 (Enab Baladi)

A shop for electronic appliance repair in the city of Ras al-Ain, northern Syria - December 17, 2023 (Enab Baladi)

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Enab Baladi – Ras al-Ain

The city of Ras al-Ain in northeast Syria is witnessing a severe crisis in the maintenance of electronic and electrical appliances, leaving various electronic possessions of the residents dysfunctional for trivial reasons.

The same malfunctions have no available solutions on hand despite their simplicity, which pushes residents to opt for purchasing new tools and incurring financial losses.

The geographical conditions of the city play a major role in the shortage it suffers in various products, including maintenance parts. Turkey controls the region, and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) controls all surrounding areas, with no outlet except towards the Turkish border.

Increase in costs

Qatada al-Marzouk, a resident of Ras al-Ain, told Enab Baladi that he and others are forced to buy new devices instead of repairing the old ones due to the unavailability of spare parts in the area.

He added that his old television was working well, but it malfunctioned due to a simple issue. The cost of repairing it did not exceed ten US dollars, but he was unable to repair it due to the unavailability of spare parts.

Al-Marzouk was compelled to search for a new television but was unable to purchase one due to its high price, leading him to forgo the idea of acquiring a television, as he told Enab Baladi.

On her part, Hanaa al-Qarit voiced her dissatisfaction with the shortage of spare parts in the markets, forcing people to buy new devices at high prices, as happened with her washing machine recently.

She explained that the machine was working well but broke down due to a broken part in the motor.

A maintenance specialist in the city informed her that the cost of repairing the washing machine did not exceed 20 US dollars if suitable parts were available, but he was unable to secure them due to their unavailability in the city’s markets, and he was unable to repair the machine.

Al-Qarit was forced to buy a new washing machine for 250 US dollars, as she told Enab Baladi, adding that it posed a burden on the family’s budget, especially in the difficult economic conditions that have imposed themselves on the Syrians.

Searching for alternatives

Adel Salah al-Din, a merchant and owner of a maintenance parts warehouse in the city of Ras al-Ain, told Enab Baladi that the scarcity of maintenance parts in the city causes additional financial losses to the residents since there is no official commercial crossing to supply the city’s markets.

Furthermore, accessing maintenance parts from neighboring areas such as Raqqa and al-Hasakah is extremely difficult, as the borders of Ras al-Ain and Tel Abyad are considered combat frontlines.

The merchant added that obtaining spare parts from the Turkish side is possible, but their cost is much higher than those in Syrian areas, raising their prices in the local market.

He explained that traders are working on alternatives by communicating with merchants in Turkey to provide these materials from exporting countries at prices suitable for maintenance shops and residents as well, through the Tel Abyad border crossing with Turkey, starting from the beginning of the next month.

Fragile economy

The city of Ras al-Ain in northern Syria relies mainly on agriculture and animal wealth, as it does not have any factories or production companies.

Since the Syrian regime’s control of the region before 2011, no maintenance parts factories or other industries have been opened.

For over 30 years, the region has been confined to agricultural and animal activities, with agriculture and animal wealth being the main source of livelihood for most of the city’s residents, as around 90% of the population depends directly or indirectly on these sectors.

The city of Ras al-Ain appears as a small pocket adjacent to the Turkish border within a vast geographical area controlled by the SDF.

The frontlines with the Turkey-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) areas from Ras al-Ain to Tel Abyad do not have any commercial or humanitarian crossings, making the area completely besieged.

The geographical siege on the region has led to a shortage of raw materials from the markets, and smuggling routes serve as a source of supplying the markets, in addition to imports coming from Turkey through the Tel Abyad border crossing.

 

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