Damascus cityAugust 13, 2015http://syriadirect.org/news/syria-direct-news-update-8-13-2015/The Syrian Ministry of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection raised the official price of the widely used diesel fuel locally known as mazot on Thursday, a move promptly denounced on social media as fuel shortages plague the country. The price hike, announced Wednesday, brings the official cost of a liter of fuel to SP130 per liter ($0.69) from SP125 ($0.66), official regime media agency SANA reported on the same day. The changes only affected subsidized prices, however, as civilians report higher costs on the ground. “At Damascus fuel stations, mazot sells for between SP140 and SP170 SYP [$0.75-$0.90], and there are large crowds waiting to buy,” Um Ziyad, a Damascus resident told Syria Direct on Thursday. Sarcastic comments on the ministry’s official Facebook page mocked the announcement of Thursday’s price increase, which also raised transportation costs by 1 percent. “Leave us alone, we don’t want consumer protection,” one commenter posted. “Get rid of your criminal employees, enough with the farce.” Others called the hikes “shameless.” Two weeks ago, the ministry increased the cost of other fuels by 10 Syrian pounds, SANA reported, leading to long lines at gas stations and triggering a spike in black market prices.