Local activists in Dara’a province said that the Assad regime’s security services and military forces behave just like gangs of bandits as checkpoints deployed across the province extort money from civilians traveling around the province. The amount of money extorted from every person range between 1000-1500 Syrian pounds.
Local residents said that Assad regime’s forces were extorting money from both civilian vehicles and traders alike. The extortion is done openly and without Assad regime’s militants showing any sense of embarrassment. People who refuses to pay money are not allowed to pass through these checkpoints.
Local sources told Smart News Network that the extortion is being done by many checkpoints deployed across the province, especially the ones that are positioned near the towns of Tseil, Sahm al-Golan, and Dael.
The sources said that a person travelling around the province must pay up to 5,000 Syrian pounds to get to his destination as he must pay money at every checkpoint he passes through.
The Assad regime’s forces have previously extorted huge amounts of money from civilians returning to their homes in eastern rural Idlib via the Abu Adduhour crossing point which Russia established in the area.
The Emergency Response Coordinators in northern Syria said that the Assad regime forces extorted huge amounts of money from civilians who owned agricultural machinery, such as harvesters, trucks and tractors. Civilians had to pay up to two million Syrian pounds to get a harvester past the checkpoint, 500,000 for a tractor, and 600,000 Syrian pounds for a medium-sized truck. Owners of livestock also had to pay 1,500 pounds per animal to be allowed to take their cattle back to their areas of origin. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Smart News Network)