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Syria army loots opposition properties in Idlib

April 2, 2020 at 5:00 am

Syrian civilians, who are being forcibly displaced due to the ongoing attacks carried out by Assad regime, Russia and Iran-backed groups, are on their way to safer zones with their belongings near Turkish border, in Idlib, Syria on 5 February 2020. [Muhammed Said – Anadolu Agency]

Syrian regime forces and Iranian-backed militias have started to loot homes and properties of opposition civilians, in the areas recently recaptured in the country’s northwestern province of Idlib.

Anadolu Agency quoted local sources as stating that the Syrian army was: “Continuing to loot homes in Idlib’s de-escalation zone, which it recently recaptured from the opposition groups.”

The regime shared footage on social media, showing Syrian forces and its allies stealing the doors and windows of civilian houses, as well as electrical wires and kitchen appliances. They were reported to have transported the stolen items to Aleppo and Damascus, and have publicly offered them in return for low prices.

Turkey and Russia agreed on a ceasefire as of 12 January. However, the Assad regime and its allies defied the agreement and launched incessant attacks.

In response, Turkish and Russian presidents gathered in Moscow on 5 March to reach a new deal, and a fresh ceasefire went into effect the following day. Although regime forces have violated the deal at several points, the parties currently remain loyal to the ceasefire agreement.

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Russia supports Al-Assad forces, while Turkey backs militants who have opposed him for nearly nine years.

Following the Astana talks of 2017, Turkey, Russia, and Iran agreed to turn Idlib city and three other regions into “de-escalation zones”, where acts of aggression were prohibited.

However, the regime and Iran-backed foreign terror groups captured three of the zones with support of Russian airstrikes, and Idlib became their new target.

The regime forces intensified its military deployment in September 2018, which paved the way for the Sochi agreement between Turkey and Russia the same month.

Later on, the Syrian regime, after pausing its aggression, launched a ground offensive in May 2019 and captured south and southeastern Idlib, northern parts and eastern rural areas of Hama, and many settlements of southern and western rural parts of Aleppo.

Since the Sochi deal, the regime and allies’ attacks killed over 1,800 civilians, and nearly two million people have been displaced due to aggression since early 2019.