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Report: Syria regime seizes, sells opponents' land, properties

A view of the damaged houses and workplaces after artillery attack by Assad regime and regime forces consisting of Iran-backed foreign groups, towards al-Bara village located near M4 highway in Idlib, Syria on February 11, 2021. Seven civilians were injured in the attack. ( Ahmet Hatib - Anadolu Agency )

The Syrian regime has forcibly seized the land and properties of dissidents and their families and sold them in public auctions, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said in a report.

According to the report, the Syrian regime has so far seized at least 440,000 dunums (440 square kilometres) of agricultural land in the suburbs of Hama and Idlib after taking control of them.

"The Syrian regime has used various forms of terror and repression against the anti-regime protesters and resorted to fighting its opponents by seizing their lands and properties as a form of punishment which extends to them and their families, while at the same time achieved material gains which it redistributed to the security services and local militias as a form of payment instead of cash," the report said.

SNHR explained that the pro-regime People's Assembly has enacted a number of laws that allow the government of President Bashar Al-Assad seize and sell the properties of political opponents which carry a clear political retaliation dimension.

A number of landowners told the Syrian Network for Human Rights that their land and crops had been seized without any compensation then sold in mock public auctions.

Syria has been ravaged by a civil war since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than ten million displaced, according to UN estimates.

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