Smuggling “path of death” a lifeline for Syria revolt

By Erika Solomon

AKKAR VALLEY, Lebanon: Inspecting his machine gun and wrapping ammunition belts around his chest, Samhar braces himself for another night’s work.

The scrawny 26-year-old calls his secret route through the mountainous Syrian-Lebanese border “the path of death.” But for nearby rebel-held areas in Syria, it is their only lifeline.

Samhar brings desperately needed supplies to neighborhoods in the Syrian city of Homs, about 40 km (25 miles) from the border. They are encircled and under heavy bombardment by Syrian troops trying to snuff out the revolt against President Bashar Assad’s rule. Activists smuggling in aid are also a target.

“We lose double the amount of people on these trips,” he said. (**)

Smuggling has long been a profitable business between Syria and Lebanon. In better days, the town, which the sources asked not be identified, was a fuel smuggling hub.

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2012/Feb-29/165039-smuggling-path-of-death-a-lifeline-for-syria-revolt.ashx#ixzz1nzQqg8vE
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

Categories: Asia, Lebanon, Syria

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