Oil community in the North Syria, everything is temporary except for the constant danger

A flame of fire appears on the far horizon. The closer I get to the hill the more flames that appear from among the trees with accompanying black smoke. It is the hill of burners as Syrians like to call it as a label of the makeshift primitive oil refineries. These refineries are used to refine crude oil and transform it into fuels for daily uses in Qubbat al-Shih in east Aleppo. 

In this place, you will be appalled to know the details of this “dangerous” process, where children take part in some of its phases, especially that some of those children are under ten years age.

5000 ‘makeshift’ oil refineries and the number is growing!

Although there are no statistics available on the accurate number of makeshift oil refineries operating in northern Syria, a report published on Bellingcat indicates that there are up to 5,000 backyard oil refineries that have emerged in recent years, according to satellite imagery.

Black pools, long trenches, and charred earth have become common sights in the fields of north-west Syria, signs of an informal oil economy that has developed during the war.
This number of these informal refineries is growing although everybody we have met seemed to be fully aware of the dangerous working conditions like barrels that could explode. People are constantly exposed to toxic fumes emitted from the burning process that’s going on, and also a lot of children are involved. They help build these refineries, take turns guarding them, and participate in selling these products resulting from the crude oil refining operations.

Oil derivatives have their labels!

Oil derivatives in this region have their labels. For example, Ras Tabkha gasoline is a very top quality product but there also Nidhami (regime’s) gasoline, super diesel, white and yellow kerosene as common labels for fuel products that are offered for sale on the street in the city of Al-Bab, east of Aleppo, and in all other regions that are no longer under the control of the Syrian regime. 

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