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    A Syrian government soldier walks near a damaged car on a road to Aleppo, Syria January 29, 2017

    Price of War: Syria Suffered $4.5Bln Transport Infrastructure Losses Since 2011

    © REUTERS/ Ali Hashisho
    Middle East
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    Syria has lost $4.5 billion worth of transport infrastructure since the beginning of the civil war in 2011, with two-thirds of the country's railroads being completely demolished in the course of the protracted conflict.

    DAMASCUS (Sputnik) — The Syrian transport infrastructure sustained losses amounting to more than $4.5 billion over six years of civil war, the country's Transport Minister Ali Hammoud told Sputnik in an interview.

    "The total sum of damages that the Ministry of Transport and related structures have sustained since the beginning of war and up to the present is estimated at $4,567 billion," Hammoud said.

    The minister stressed that the figures did not account for the damages in the districts seized by terrorists, and the amount of losses there could be much higher.

    Hammoud also said that Syria had lost more than two-thirds of its railways due to the destructive actions of terrorist groups, and seen a dramatic decrease in the number of marine transport operations.

    "Concerning the railway network, whose length amounted to 2,450 kilometers [over 1,500 miles], terrorists destroyed 17 bridges. Almost 1,800 kilometers are almost fully destroyed, which had a negative impact on railway cargo traffic," Hammoud said.

    The minister said that terrorists staged explosions on railways and stole parts from trains, causing crashes. He also accused Turkey of supporting terrorists in Syria.

    He then noted the decline in sea transportation, adding also that the volume of goods delivered to Syria by sea has decreased from 24 million to 9 million tonnes.

    "The number of ships accepted by Syrian ports reduced from 4,614 per year before the war to 1,554 ships per year during the war," Hammoud said.

    The annual income of the transport infrastructure has dropped by 93 percent over these six years from $1.3 billion to $102 million. A total of 179 employees of the Transport Ministry and affiliated structures were killed, according to Hammoud.

    Syria has been been in a state of civil war since 2011 with government forces fighting against Syrian opposition groups aiming to overthrow President Bashar Assad, and numerous extremist and terrorist groups such as Daesh, outlawed in Russia.


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