Tanks transferring oil in Hasakah countryside
In the past 6 years, the armed conflict of the Syrian Revolution caused problems with trade and transportation movement between areas controlled by different conflict’s sides, the trade, and transportation movement was stopped between opposition-held areas and Assad regime-held areas or between PYD-held areas and areas under opposition control.
Despite these problems, all roads were open for fuel and oil tanks moving from east Syria to the rest of Syrian territories under different conflict’s sides control without being affected by the armed conflict except some exceptional cases.
NSO team in Qamishli obtained information on managing and transportation of oil from PYD-held areas to Assad regime-held areas.
*A Member of Assad regime Parliament controls oil transportation
Oil transportation process cross Democratic Union Party PYD-held areas and Assad regime-held areas through many levels, each level include different procedures according to the area according to some tanks drivers who told NSO.
The drivers told NSO that the transportation is managed by Syrian businessman and the member of Assad regime Parliament Husam al-Qaterji who created relationships with high rank ISIS, PYD and Assad regime commanders which allowed him to win contracts to transport oil from al-Omar oil field in Deir Ezzor which was under ISIS control and PYD-held Remilan oil fields to Assad regime since 2014.
Al-Qaterji also signed contracts to transfer grain from al-Hasakah province to Damascus through Raqqa when it was under ISIS control, Husam manage “Al-Qaterji group for transportation and trade” which owns hundreds of trucks and oil tanks in these areas.
Procedures and ways to transport oil
The tanks’ owners head to al-Qaterji Group office managed by Ayman al-Qaterji in al-Falahin oil station near Zouri roundabout in Qamishli city, the drivers take invoices allow them to transfer oil and fuel, then they head to Tal Adas oil station near Remilan fields near al-Malikye city northeast al-Hasakah province, they get another invoice from YPG who control the station after paying 2000 SYP which around 4 $.
One of the drivers said that one of Qaterji’s representatives is always in Tal Adas area where the oil tanks gathered, the tanks move to loading area then to the Scale to set the tank’s weight and capacity then get another invoice from the Scale management.
After finishing loading and weighing the tanks, the drivers go back to al-Qaterji office in the al-Falaheen station in Qamishli city where they get a stamped paper then head to gather point in al-Alye area near Ras al-Ayn where there is another al-Qaterji office who put another stamp on the paper they go from Qamishli’s office.
The journey started after al-Alye area to Assad regime-held areas, YPG gather all the tanks and they move a group every day accompanied by a guarding patrol, each patrol include 2 pick-up trucks mounted with machine guns and YPG fighters, the convoy leave al-Alye area and bass by Tal Abyad and Ayn Eissa then Raqqa city to arrive at al-Tabqa city.
After reaching al-Tabqa, the convoy heads to Assad regime-held areas through Athrya-Khanaser crossing in south Aleppo where another al-Qaterji office runs by Wael al-Qaterji who stamps on the paper the drivers got from al-Qamishli then the convoy moves to Banyas or Homs refineries.
*PYD export 20k barrel to Assad regime-held areas daily
One of the drivers told NSO that more than 1000 oil tanks work with al-Qaterji Company, each tank capacity is 170 barrels and weigh 35 tons, he added that al-Qaterji owns around 300 tanks while another private transportation company called “Ayyam al-Khair” have other 300 and the rest is owned by other civilians.
The driver said all tanks filled in Tal Adas station near Remilan which fills around 100-150 tanks daily with the rate of 12 tanks per hour, the daily number is different according to the number of available tanks after delivering the load to Banyas and Homs refineries and the tanks transport between 17-25k barrels daily.
The tank’s owner takes 15k SYP for each ton around 525k SYP for each 35 ton tank to transport it from Remilan to Homs where the money is paid by accountant office runs by Tawfiq al-Qaterji inside Homs refinery.
One of the drivers told NSO that Assad regime checkpoints let them pass easily, he added that even mention the name “al-Qaterji” can make it easier to pass without problems and this includes all drivers even if they were wanted by regime of defectors which allowed many drivers to smuggle wanted civilians from Assad regime areas to PYD-held areas and vice versa, YPG also make the passing easier if they have an invoice from the Customs in Tabqa.
After the drivers are paid in Homs or Banyas, they come back and pass Tabqa city where they got an invoice by PYD Customs after paying 3500 SYP around 8 $ then go back to Qamishli city to prepare for another journey start and end from al-Qaterji office.
Al-Qaterji is considered the sole transport of oil from PYD-held oil fields in Remilan to the Coastal and Homs areas under Assad regime control while PYD-led “Self-Autonomous Administration” use the oil in every possible way.
PYD authorities send oil tanks to FSA-held areas in Idlib and Aleppo countryside through Manbij city, the information we have says it used to send dozens of tanks every day to Euphrates Shield groups-held Jarablus city in Aleppo countryside through another middleman called “al-Hazwani” who buys the oil from Remilan and sell it opposition-held areas in Jarablus, Azaz, al-Bab, Idlib and also Efrin.