Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Syrian Regime Displaces 2nd Batch of Daraya Residents | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A Syrian Arab Purple Crescent convoy waits at the entrance of Daraya. OMAR SANADIKI / Reuters

Beirut, London-The Syrian regime executed on Thursday the second phase of its deportation policy by moving scores of Daraya residents, currently living in Moadamiyat al-Sham, to the area of Harjala, located in the suburb of southern Damascus.

Representatives of Bashar Assad forcibly displaced the residents of Daraya.

“A number of buses had entered the area of Moadamiyat to transport the second batch of Daraya residents to Harjala, accompanied by the Syrian Red Crescent,” field sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Media opposition activist in the suburb of Damascus Diya’ al-Husseini said around 150 people were moved to Harjala to join the other 300 Daraya residents, already sent by the Syrian regime to the same area early this month.

“Around 250 civilians from Daraya city are still present in Moadamiyat, waiting to be moved to Harjala today or tomorrow, if no logistic complications come up,” al-Husseini told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Syria’s state-run news agency SANA reported on Thursday that “146 persons from Daraya city who were residing in Moadamiyat were transported to the temporary center in Harjala” which is supervised by the governorate of Damascus suburb, linked to the regime.

This displacement falls in line with the regime’s strategy to empty Syrian cities and produce a demographic change.

“Forcing people to leave their homes is part of the Syrian regime’s plan to move residents from cities and villages located in the rural areas of Damascus, which constitute a threat to the regime forces in the capital and its surroundings,” al-Husseini said.

The activist said that the regime asked Moadamiyat officials to force fighters to hand over their heavy and medium weapons and leave with their light arms to the province of Idlib.

The Governor of rural Damascus province Alaa Ibrahim said there are around 300 armed fighters in Moadamiyat. “Their conditions could be settled if they wish so,” he said, adding that the situation in the area will be soon safe, similar to what happened in Daraya.

However, al-Husseini said Moadamiyat residents fear that after armed fighters leave the city, the Syrian regime would force residents to leave their homes under death threats, similar to what happened in Daraya.