Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Assad-led demographic change reaches Latakia city, slowly and Quietly

Local | 2016-10-18 14:05:11
Assad-led demographic change reaches Latakia city, slowly and Quietly

Reporting by Tareq Haj Bakri

(Eqtsad)- The Syrian regime has already started the plan for the demographic change in Syria, the same is being done in coastal city of Latakia, especially in the neighbourhood of the opposition.

In hot areas like Homs, Daraya, Qudsaya, the regime used bombing, killing and destruction then forcibly evacuate towns and displace residents to other places. However, in Latakia, regime follows another plan where its supporters and “shabiha” seized houses belong to opposition people who follow the revolution by forging of ownership documents and security intimidation, besides armed robbery and killing crimes.

Sunni and opposition neighbourhoods like Salyba, Ramel Janobi, Skantori, Martakla, al-Sijen in Latakia city are witnessing worrying demographic transformation, is being implemented silently and quietly. Regime government tended to harden people’s lives to force them to leave the country, then it seized their houses under the Act of Housing the Displaced where houses are handed to regime loyalists from other city and “Shabiha” from villages of Jableh and Kardaka countryside.

The Syrian regime has been using different methods to force people to leave the city, like arresting and detention, mandatory conscription to fight on front as many of young men returned to their families dead. All that forced people to seek protection for their sons by pushing them to leave the country to Lebanon of Turkey at high cost which sometimes reach to $3000 paid to Shabiha and officers in the Syrian army to transport them outside the country.

That what happened to Obada, an engineer who detailed “I was forced to pay $2250 to transport me to the castle of Madik in a private car driven by a “Shabih” who was known and called by members on barriers as “Boss”, although I was hiding in Damascus to escape joining the mandatory military recruitment”

Obada detailed that the so called “Boss” brought him from Damascus to Latakia then to liberated areas. “he told in our way that he is an officer in the army and he is doing that trafficking in cooperation with the security forces.

The pressure regime uses on people is not restricted to security, it included public services like electricity and water. In opposition and Sunni areas, electricity keeps disconnected, and it is connected only few hours a days, most likely in late night. Besides cutting the water supply for days.

In regard to rubbish, it is left in streets for days causing bad smell and increase in rats and insects.

The latest plan to force people to leave was gangs disguised in security forces’ uniform, they invade houses and rob valuable materials.

Regime loyalists realise the risk of armed robbery gangs and know who support them from security branches, according to some posts written on regime-loyal facebook page “A mortar shell from Latakia” which came following releasing a group of thieves were caught during their robbery operation.

The city of Latakia witnessed many crimes of killing against old women and men, one of them was for an old lady in al-Shahadin neighbourhood, who was found killed in her house, then the ownership of her house went to one of “Shabiha.”

“Whatever pressure they impose on us, whatever difficulties we face, I will stay in my city and I will not leave it, I will not let them replace Latakia’s people with others”, engineer M. H told Eqtsad.

Unconfirmed statistics estimated that almost a third of people of Latakia especially of opposition areas have left the city.
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