Syria ‘plans railroad to Turkish border’
War-torn Syria plans to build a railway system that extends to its borders, reaching Turkey in the north, Russian news agency Sputnik has quoted a Syrian minister as saying.
Syrian Transport Minister Ali Hamud reportedly stated that “the priority lies in fixing the transport network within the country between its provinces at first.”
“Then the plan is to construct railway line to Iraq, Iran, Jordan, and possibly to China and Turkey,” Hamud added.
He estimated that the destruction of war on his country’s transport network would cost $4.77 billion in repairs even when the newly liberated areas excluded.
“When the eastern Syrian regions were liberated, we faced the task of returning to operation a 186-km road to phosphate mines from Aleppo. It seemed that it was impossible to manage it within six months. However, we launched it in just 70 days,” Hamud said.
“In total, 50 percent of intercity roads are destroyed, that is 4,095 km of roads. As for the railways, 75 percent of the existing 2,400 km has been damaged,” Hamud said.
The minister also said there is a plan to expand seaports in Tartus and Latakia.
Regarding whether Turkey had initiated any contact with Bashar al-Assad or mediators, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told journalists following a Russia-Turkey-Iran summit in Sochi on Nov. 22 that there is “no such situation at the moment.”