Iran has doubled the market rate of the price of a barrel of oil to $70 for Syria, reportsĀ The Wall Street Journal, has asked its ally to pay in advance and refused requests for credit.

Iranian-flagged oil tanker

Tehran has been the main supplier of fuel to Damascus since the US sanctions have stopped the government importing oil from abroad.

For months Syria has undergone widespread fuel shortages across the country and has been suffering from its worst shortage of fuel since the start of the uprising and war that has now lasted for over a decade.

As well as a fuel shortage, soaring prices and the low exchange rate for the Syrian pound against the US dollar means that ordinary Syrians in government-controlled parts of the country are suffering.

The collapse of the banking sector in Syria in 2019 means billions of dollars of Syrian deposits have been frozen.

Experts last year said that it was the worst fuel crisis yet, with fuel previously being available, albeit expensive.

The government even tried to conserve fuel by telling officials not to come to the offices for several days last month.

Power outages of up to 22 hours a day are affecting healthcare, education, and water and Syrians are reportedly burning rubbish, tyres, and pistachio shells to keep themselves warm.

It also means that food such as dairy and meat products are rotten since they cannot be stored at the right temperature as shops do not have enough diesel to keep their fridges running all the time.

Bakeries in DamascusĀ have started opening just once a week, with customers forming long queues outside.

The government has also blamed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for contributing towards higher prices.

Russia and Iran are Assad’s main military backers and have helped the Syrian government quash the opposition since the start of the uprising.

Hundreds of thousands of civilians have been killed and hospitals and schools targeted in a relentless campaign against the uprising.

The UN has said that over 15 million Syrians, out of a total of 22 million, are in need of humanitarian aid.

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