According to reports, the construction of this new mode of transportation to Baghdad comes at the same time that Syria prepares to reopen the Damascus-Aleppo Railway for the first time in eight years.
The rehabilitation of this railway has been a year in the making, as the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) large-scale advance in eastern Idlib and western Aleppo paved the way for the government to begin repairs in these previously militant-held areas.
Furthermore, this step comes less than a year after the opening of the international road between Damascus and Aleppo, also known as the M-5 Highway.
Najeeb Al-Faris, Director General of the General Organization for Syrian Railways, explained in a special statement to Sputnik Arabic that “the importance of this axis lies in the fact that it links many economic and productive activities and establishments through rail links, including grain silos and mills in Homs, Shanshar, Nasiriyah, Ghazlaniyah and Al-Sabina in Damascus.
He pointed out that “these are linked to the strategic Aleppo-Damascus production axis to transport goods from the Syrian ports to these facilities, and to transport passengers from Aleppo to Hama, Homs and Damascus,” explaining that “this corridor passes through Sheikh Najjar Industrial City in Aleppo.”
Connecting the Syrian-Iraqi railways
On the agreement signed between the Syrian railways and the Iraqi railways, during the meeting of the Iraqi Ministry of Transport delegation with the Syrian Minister of Transport Zuhair Khuzaim last month in Damascus, Al-Faris explained that “the agreement is a very important step in the framework of the rail link between the Syrian railway network and the Iraqi railway network for the transfer of goods, raw materials and manufactured materials to and from Syrian ports towards Iraq, via Syrian territory.”
The agreement stipulated joint cooperation in the field of portable and mobile tools, the establishment of railways, the exchange of research and studies, the training of technical personnel on the railways, the scientific visits and conferences, the transfer of railway technology, the safety, conditions and international standards in the railways of the two countries.
The establishment of the Damascus-Baghdad Railway also comes at a time when Syria is facing a strict blockade imposed by the United States and European Union. The move should help ease some of the pressure caused by these sanctions against the Syrian Arab Republic.