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Assad regime seizes refugees’ farmlands in Idlib, Syria

The Assad regime has confiscated farmlands owned by refugees and displaced citizens in rural Idlib, northern Syria, local sources said Tuesday.

The regime’s Agriculture Ministry seized the farmlands with claims it would cultivate the lands and reap their returns, the sources said.

"The lands offered for investment are the lands of ‘the hidden ones’," local Al-Watan daily quoted Idlib Governor Thaer Salhab as saying.

He said the seized lands can be given back to displaced persons “when their status is settled by the regime.”

Idlib fell out of regime control in 2015. Regime forces, however, have managed to recapture dozens of villages and towns in the province since 2017, with Russian and Iranian support, despite the Astana agreements that define Idlib as part of a de-escalation zone.

The Syrian regime had previously confiscated property and lands of opposition activists and refugees in areas under its control.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN estimates.

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