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Will Syria's Kurds succeed at self-sufficiency?

Despite major obstacles and challenges, the Kurds are making efforts to achieve economic self-sufficiency in areas they control in northern Syria.

GAZIANTEP — Most Syrian cities are reeling under the effects of the ongoing civil war, which has naturally dealt a blow to the local and national economies. Amid the conflict, the Kurdish-controlled areas of Jazira, Kobani and Afrin in the north are attempting to become economically self-sufficient, but receiving goods, including raw materials and medicines, from inside Syria is a struggle. Traders control the market entirely, deciding on shipments and setting prices at will, which has resulted to high prices. Also, border crossings with Turkey have been closed since 2012, because Ankara accuses the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which administers the Syrian Kurdish areas, of being affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party.

The Kurds have been in control of some areas in Hasakah province and Kobani and Afrin in the Aleppo countryside since 2012, after the forces of President Bashar al-Assad abandoned most of their positions and stations there. Subsequently, the Kurds established popular councils in a move toward political autonomy and economic development.

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