المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Nearly 500 units purchased in one area | Iran continues demographic change in eastern Ghouta through taking over hundreds of civilians’ properties

Rif Dimashq province: Reliable sources have informed the Syrian Observatory that the purchasing of real estate throughout cities and towns of eastern Ghouta by individuals from Deir Ezzor province working for Iranian-backed militias in Syria has escalated alarmingly. According to SOHR sources, individuals working for a man called Aby Yaser al-Bakari from al-Bakara tribe in Deir Ezzor have purchased nearly 500 apartments and shops in Ain Tarma city in the past few months. It is worth noting that most of these units belonged to Syrian people living abroad, and they were sold through representatives authorized by the real owners in eastern Ghouta.

 

According to local sources in eastern Ghouta, brokers from eastern Ghouta have been recruited by a group affiliated to the Iranian-backed local militia of “Liwaa al-Abbas”, while Aby Yaser al-Bakari is a prominent trader in this group. Al-Bakari had purchased lots of real estate in Deir Ezzor at orders by Liwaa al-Abbas’s leader Adnan al-Abbas. Now the Iranian-backed group and brokers it recruited have been prevalent in all cities and towns of eastern Ghouta with a task to find every apartment or shop offered for sale. Moreover, the group has stopped dealing with real estate offices because of the high fees. It is worth noting that the purchasing of civilians’ properties escalated recently in the areas of Saqba, Jesrayn, Kafr Batna, al-Mulayha, Zubaydin, Beit Sawa and Hamouriyyah.

 

In mid-April, SOHR sources in eastern Ghouta in Rif Dimashq said that merchants from the city of al-Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor affiliated with the Iranian-backed local militia of “Liwaa al-Abbas”, continued to buy real estate from residents across eastern Ghouta, through “Abu Yasser al-Bakary”, who previously bought many properties in various areas in eastern Ghouta at the orders of “A.A.”, the leader of a pro-Iranian militia.

 

According to Syrian Observatory sources, the purchases were recently concentrated in the areas of the southern sector of eastern Ghouta, including the areas of Zabadin, Deir al-Assafir, Hatitet al-Turkman and Al-Meliha, where these traders bought a large number of farmlands, houses, restaurants and parks which had been already damaged during earlier military operations. The traders also bought about 100 houses in the city of al-Meliha, some of which were almost completely destroyed.

 

Meanwhile, negotiations between these militias and the owners of real estate offices were underway to buy buildings belonging to people living abroad, as their properties were completely destroyed due to airstrikes during military operations. Recently, these traders began to search for destroyed buildings to buy them from their owners for unknown reasons, after they were purchasing shops and habitable houses. Moreover, the Iranians bought a large number of parks and restaurants in the areas of Hatitet al-Turkmen, Deir al-Assafir and Zabdin from their owners during the recent period.

 

While on November 20, 2020, reliable SOHR sources in eastern Ghouta reported increasing number of real estate purchases in the towns and cities of Ghouta by a group of people working for dealers from Deir Ezzor. These people bought real estates, mostly houses and some shops, at the orders of the dealers. However, the fact that all these real estates were kept closed after being sold was seen as worrisome.

 

According to SOHR sources, these dealers are from Al-Mayadeen countryside in eastern Deir Ezzor and affiliated to the Iranian-backed local militias of “Al-Abbas Brigade”. The most prominent dealer is a man from Al-Bakarah tribe called Abu Yasser Al-Bakary, who has bought many properties in Deir Ezzor at the direct orders of Adnan Al-Abbas, the leader of “Al-Abbas Brigade”.

 

Such purchases are concentrated in eastern Ghouta, particularly in Kafr Batna, Hazza, Saqba, Ain Tarma, Al-Mulayha and Zamalka. These deals included real estates which have been for sale and other properties whose owners have been displaced to northern Syria or travelled overseas, via brokers of both sides.

 

It is worth noting that the number of real estates purchased by “Al-Abbas Brigade” in the past few months exceeded 300, while the value of each real estate sold during this period ranged between 25 million SYL and 125 million SYL, according to the size and location of the real estate.

 

SOHR sources have confirmed that these processes are on the march, as representatives of these dealers, carrying individual guns, pay periodical visits to real estate offices in eastern Ghouta where they ask about properties available for sale, and ask these offices’ owners to inform them as soon as new properties become available on the market.

 

Such suspicious and uncertain developments in the area have triggered the residents’ fear and worry over the purposes and reasons behind the purchase of a large number of real estates in their cities and towns.

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