Creating a New Syria: Property, Dispossession, and Regime Survival — by Erwin van Veen - Syria Comment

Creating a New Syria: Property, Dispossession, and Regime Survival — by Erwin van Veen

bulldozers removing barriers from a road in the town of Harasta, east of the capital Damascus, Syria, Saturday, March. 24, 2018, where thousands of opposition fighters and members of their families are expected to use to head to northern Syria. The planned departure toward northern Syria comes a day after an agreement was reached between Faylaq al-Rahman and the Russians to evacuate the second of three pockets held by opposition fighters in eastern Ghouta. (SANA via AP) Hafez Hafiz al-Assad Asad

Bulldozers remove barriers from a road in Harasta, east of Damascus (SANA via AP)

 

By Erwin van Veen

While all eyes were fixed on the US-led military response to the alleged chemical attack in East Ghouta, a little-noted event occurred that could potentially have a much greater impact on Syria’s future. About 10 days ago, President Assad’s regime passed Law no. 10. The law foresees the creation of local administrative units in each district of regime-held territory that will be in charge of reconstruction efforts. All Syrians will be required to register their private properties with these units by providing proof of ownership, in person or through legal representatives. This must be done within roughly the next two months. The risk of noncompliance is that the Syrian state will take possession of the unregistered properties.

With half the Syrian population displaced and many property transfers prior to 2011 having been done informally, this will be a mission impossible for many. Depending on the implementation and enforcement of the law, its most likely consequence is that the Syrian state will acquire a substantial amount of property in the near future—land, buildings, and other immovable assets—within the territories it currently controls. The real implication here is twofold. Most importantly, President Assad’s regime will lay its hands on the assets it needs to finance the country’s reconstruction and reestablish its power base, preserving its long-term viability and independence. Moreover, it will dispossess hundreds of thousands of Syrians—possibly millions—who escaped the fighting or forced recruitment. Law no. 10 is a Faustian masterstroke—both in its injustice and its ingenuity.

The background is this: The World Bank has estimated the tab for reconstructing Syria at upwards of USD $200 billion. The Syrian regime has been broke for some time, kept financially afloat by the Iranian Central Bank and assorted Lebanese banks. Russia and Iran have neither the will nor the funds to finance Syria’s reconstruction. The Gulf countries, United States, and European Union have made it clear that likewise they will not carry Syria’s reconstruction without a “meaningful political transition”—a reference to their desire for real political concessions in the future governance of Syria. Most who are familiar with the conflict expect such a transition to happen when hell freezes over.

And yet, reconstructing Syria is essential to President Assad’s regime. This is not because it cares about restoring basic services like healthcare and housing to a decent level, or about the return of Syrian refugees. Figures like Syrian Major General Issam Zahreddin (since killed in battle) made it abundantly clear some time ago that returning refugees should not count on a warm welcome.

No. Rather, reconstruction is essential to the regime’s survival because it must reward the networks of businessmen, military, and militia leaders that helped it win the war. Reconstruction is also vital to the regime’s autonomy because it must re-establish its powerbase and independence vis-à-vis its international backers who will expect the future loyalty of a faithful Syrian ally when this conflict is over. Iran, for example, is already working to establish a long-term social, religious, and military presence in the country.

The imperatives of regime survival and autonomy mean that its reconstruction logic will echo its warfighting logic: indiscriminate punishment of disloyalty to impose fear, selective co-optation, and deal-making with opposition groups where this offers a low-cost solution on regime terms and safeguards core regime interests. Initial urban reconstruction efforts of the regime in Damascus, Homs, and Aleppo, on the basis of Decree 66 (2012), already show how the regime uses high-end property developments to generate funds and reward loyalists through forcible dispossession below market rates, as well as the use of regime-linked real estate and construction companies. The nationalization of property enabled by the closely-related Law no. 10 will take this approach to a new level.

An additional consequence of Law no. 10 is that it will enable large-scale demographic engineering by reallocating appropriated property to new owners. This will not necessarily be sectarian in nature as the majority of both Syrians and regime-loyalists are Sunni. Rather, it will create large loyalist urban centers to underpin the regime’s power base and limit the return of refugees, who are largely not perceived as supporters of President Assad.

In addition to remaking urban centers as areas of repopulated loyalist concentration, the strategy will probably also involve undoing the existence of impoverished Sunni-belts around Syria’s main cities from which so many rebels were recruited. Insofar as these poorer suburbs are currently depopulated due to rebel recruitment, casualties, and flight, the regime is likely to use Law No. 10 to appropriate the land (in many such areas, property rights were not well established even before the war) and to then prevent their resettlement if and when refugees return. Any Sunni populations that have not fled but are still living in such suburbs at present will also be at risk of forced displacement and dispossession commensurate with the extent of their perceived disloyalty to the regime. It is clear that the regime has no problem initiating displacement on a large scale when it suits regime interests. Dealing with the suburban belts in this fashion will remove a source of resistance against the regime once and for all.

Though these are the primary aspects of the strategy, Law no. 10 may very well additionally facilitate small-scale sectarian demographic engineering in a few strategic areas. The “four-town deal” that swapped the population of two Sunni villages with two Shi’i ones west of Damascus suggests that the Syrian-Lebanese border could be such an area. Incidentally, this particular deal was enabled by Qatar as the price for release of their captured royal hunting party in Iraq.

If the re-entrenchment of the Syrian regime was not already a sad enough finale, the emerging parallels with the plight of many Palestinians are uncanny and will constitute a further source of international concern. Not only is the relative size of the Syrian diaspora growing fast, but Law no. 10 may well have an effect similar to the Israeli Absentee Property Law, which effectively nationalized Palestinian lands whose owners had fled after November 1947. The Israeli/Palestinian problem still haunts the world’s conscience 70 years later, though apparently not enough to end its neglect and resolve the problem.

In 2017, Pearlman quotes Talia—a fleeing TV correspondent in Aleppo—regarding a sad but remarkably poignant moment: “I waited for the driver outside. I kissed the walls on the street, because I knew that I was never coming back to them.”

Law no. 10 just brought this scenario one step closer to reality.

___________________________________________________________________

Erwin van Veen is a senior research fellow at Clingendael, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations. Follow on Twitter.

Addendum: “Displaced Syrians ensnared by new property law stand to lose everything” by Bahira al-Zarier & Barrett Limoges for Syria Direct, 17 April 2018.

Law 10 gives property owners both in Syria and abroad just 30 days—starting April 11—to present their deeds to local council offices in the country. Otherwise, the state can liquidate their titles and seize their holdings. Once the registration window closes, “the remaining plots will be sold at auction,” reads Article 31 of the law.

For citizens living abroad like Muhammad, family members as distant as a second cousin may present the documents in their stead.

However, the millions of Syrians impacted by Law 10 include refugees and internally displaced people without family back home to assist with registration, as well as people whose deeds were lost or destroyed during the war.

Perhaps most ominously for opposition supporters, all property owners wishing to register their lands must first obtain approval from state security officials, a lawyer in Damascus familiar with the law told Syria Direct. The lawyer spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions.

“Without this approval, they will not be able to prove ownership of the property,” said the lawyer. “Therefore, it would be sold at auction or claimed by another person.”

“Herein lies the seriousness of this decree,” she added.

The need for security clearance could exclude large swathes of the Syrian population inside and outside the country with outstanding arrest warrants or known anti-government sympathies from registering their property.

Muhammad is one of them. Although he still has the deed for his house and land in the south Homs village of al-Buwaidah a-Sharqiyah, he says the Syrian government has issued an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

“I am wanted by the regime on charges of incitement and attending demonstrations,” says Muhammad. “I understand that the regime means to take our property with a legal text, creating new laws to suit their interests.”

These two clarifications were tweeted by “Syria Law Journal”

Comments (21)


Eugene said:

After 7 years, the end is in sight? So exactly what has been accomplished, aside from the displacement of millions, the death to (?), the destruction of the majority of the countries infrastructure, the costs in both treasures – lives/money – stepping back from the brink of WW 3 (?) at the moment, just who/what was won? Another ugly episode brought to the world, compliments of the Western leaders with the help of the dictators of the Middle east, Israel. Will they go quietly into the night, or will they continue bombing Syria, because they lost?

April 15th, 2018, 4:56 pm

 

Matthew Barber said:

Actually, the regime has accomplished a lot. It has re-entrenched its own position and will not be again easily challenged for a long time after this. It has eliminated a tremendous amount of popular opposition from the country. Van Veen’s article underscores just how much many of the refugees will lose. The regime will take everything they owned and many will not be able to return to the country. Through all the mass destruction, violence, and death, the regime has preserved a dynasty and has ensured its survival into the future. This easily could have been the end of Alawi rule in Syria, but this is not to be the case. Whether this dynasty continues will have a lot to do with what kind of successor will follow Bashar, but history will remember this episode as an existential struggle on the part of a dynasty to continue existing and continue defining Syria, a struggle that it ultimately won.

In terms of retaining this privilege of “defining” Syria, there are still some huge uncertainties. Considering how dead Ba’thism is, how will the regime work to define the country post-civil war? I will be interested to see how that unfolds. Regardless, this family will continue in that capacity, however they choose to approach it.

This article importantly prompts us to think about the kind of transition that will soon be taking place as the conflict winds down and the process that will emerge whereby the Syrian regime will work to return to “normal”—though in some respects it will be the creation of a “new normal.”

April 15th, 2018, 8:46 pm

 

Alif said:

If UN and NGO reports published in 2017 are to be believed hundreds of thousands of Syrians from Turkish, Lebanese and Jordanian refugee camps returned to their homes in Syria throughout 2016 and the first half of 2017. A substantial majority, but not all, hailed from areas held by the Syrian regime.(I will try to find and post links to the reports in question.)

I don’t doubt that Assad and the Baathist ruling clique are not too concerned about the fate of refugees who left the country to escape the war. However, unless they are completely diabolical and/or deluded, which, I admit is a possibility, they have to make some effort to keep their part of Syria stable and functioning for its citizens. Masses of Syrians stuck in permanent refugee camp limbo just outside Syria’s borders while the regime bulldozes their homes and sells their property seems like a guaranteed recipe for instability and crisis, not to mention bad PR. Abandoning thousands of Syrian citizens and stealing their land can’t be passed off as a “false flag” operation.

Perhaps the regime assumes the people who haven’t returned to Syria by now have no plans on ever returning. I don’t know. I am somewhat skeptical that a general bitterly mouthing off about “traitors” is the template for the regime’s refugee resettlement policy (or lack thereof).

I do not think this war is ending any time soon. The civil war is just one aspect of a multilevel conflict that includes regional and international powers and their proxies playing out on Syrian soil. There is zero chance the foreign belligerents will simply pack up and go home after the regime consolidates its territory, which may take some time yet. And despite the propaganda none of the foreign actors have the interests of the Syrian people at heart. It will remain an occupied, violent and divided country for the foreseeable future.

In light of this the Assad regime would be extremely foolish to assume it is invincible and can therefore treat war weary and destitute Syrians on its patch with open contempt without any repercussions down the road. Then again it did drop chemical weapons on civilians after it had successfully retaken the area from JaI and foolishly provoked the US and Russia into playing a potentially apocalyptic game of chicken while reminding the world why it became a pariah in the first place.

How this plays out remains to be seen.

April 16th, 2018, 12:07 am

 

Bart Peeters said:

“And yet, reconstructing Syria is essential to President Assad’s regime. This is not because it cares about restoring basic services like healthcare and housing to a decent level”

What a gratuitously biased and untruthful remark. The Baath has been in power almost uninterruptedly since 1963, since 1971 under the Assads, and has provided basic services to the population to a level that exceeded the services that, say, the Lebanese state has ever provided, including free health care and education. To the degree that his level deteriorated in the last decade preceding 2011 it was due to a large degree by external factors such as the massive influx of Iraqi refugees after 2003, a dramatic drought and the imposition of sanctions and general lack of cooperation and assistance for the Syrian state, as well as Bashar’s neoliberalisation and opening of the Syrian market to foreign capital, which was pretty much imposed on him by the west, including through the mentioned sanctions etc.

Likewise, many of the assumptions in the article about the intentions of the Syrian government concerning reconstruction, return of refugees etcetera are no more than that: gratuitous assumptions.

April 16th, 2018, 6:00 am

 

Tom57 said:

Basically the West wants to make conditions in Syria so miserable that the regime cannot survive. That is why we have the sanctions. But the West also pays a price. And not a small one. Specifically Germany will pay somthing like 30 Billions in federal funds only to house and feed close over one million Syrian refugees. The majoritiy of them are young men. There were 15 million people in the age group 20-35 in Germany in 2014. That is about 7,5 Million young men. Taking all refugees together (close to two million including non Syrians) we get a gender imbalance of nearly 20%. Add to that that these are young men used to war and violence and you have a recipee for disaster. The alternative would be import their families and hope that these young men will integrate better. But then you quickly arrive at 4-5 Million people. The German government will not do that as this idea is extremely unpopular.
At the moment things are still more or less manageable. Although crime has risen sharply and rents as well (Germany pays the rent of refugees) things are still such, that the effect is mostly felt in selected regions. But the longer you have unemployed and unemployable young men (a lot of them are illiterate) from a totally alien culture the more tension there will be. That is just apart from the cost which are as of now still bearable as the economy is humming along. As soon as there will be the inevitable downturn and a rise in societal tension there will be more and more pressure.
Of course 30 billion Euro a year would easily finance reconstruction. The Syrians know it and the Germans know it as well. Even ten billion would be real money. Much cheaper for Germany and certainly enough for Syria. There was a long article in Germany´s paper of record Frankfurter Zeitung lately who sent their correspondent to Damascus. The Syrians made it quite clear that they know that the pressure in Germany is increasing. And that Germany will have to pay a price if they want diplomatic relations. And Germany will certainly want it the more time goes by.
The refugee crisis is destabilising Germany´s political system and her leaders are still making a happy face to grim developments. But the far right is rising fast and they have already sent a delegation to Assad. In the not so distant future the German government will have no choice but to follow suit.

April 16th, 2018, 6:43 am

 

justme said:

“But the longer you have unemployed and unemployable young men (a lot of them are illiterate) from a totally alien culture the more tension there will be.”

Syria had >90% male literacy and the culture is far from “totally alien”. Just give them chance to education and work and young Syrians have no trouble integrating into European society.

April 16th, 2018, 3:39 pm

 

Joshua Landis said:

The problem of reconstruction and what to do with rebels in a civil war is not unique to Syria. The United States faced this problem twice, following the Revolutionary War, when the British were forced from the country and their loyalists were largely driven out as well. AS NPR notes: “when the British pulled out in city after city in the United States, tens of thousands of loyalists went with the retreating army to Britain and other parts of the British Empire. … About half of the loyalists who left the United States ended up going north to Canada, settling in the province of Nova Scotia and also becoming pioneering settlers in the province of New Brunswick.” Loyalists numbered between 15 and 20 percent of the US population. About 60,000 left the country, which meant that the exiles amounted to about 2% of the total US population of 3 million at the end of the war in 1783. Most were compensated with Canadian land or British cash distributed through formal claims procedures. Loyalists who left the U.S. received £3 million or about 37% of their losses from the British government. Loyalists who stayed in the U.S. were generally able to retain their property and become American citizens.

April 17th, 2018, 5:16 am

 

Joshua Landis said:

The second time that Americans fought each other in a civil war was in 1860. The Northerners who sought to exploit the defeated southerners were called Carpetbaggers. Initiatives such as the Southern Homestead Act, Sherman’s field orders, and Reconstruction-era legislation by Radical Republicans aimed to strip the land, assets, and voting rights of Southerners believed to have supported the Confederates during the war. Although the stated purpose of these initiatives was to empower freedmen politically and economically, many carpetbaggers were businessmen who purchased or leased plantations. They became wealthy landowners, hiring freedmen and white Southerners to do the labor through the development of sharecropping. Within a year of Andrew Johnson’s presidency, most of what was left of the South’s white elite had been restored to power. Men who had avoided bankruptcy regained their plantations and re-established businesses.

Carpetbaggers also established banks and retail businesses, issuing monies and goods under high-interest loan programs. Most were former Union soldiers eager to invest their savings in this promising new frontier, and civilians lured south by press reports of “the fabulous sums of money to be made in the South in raising cotton.” Foner notes that “joined with the quest for profit, however, was a reforming spirit, a vision of themselves as agents of sectional reconciliation and the South’s “economic regeneration.” Accustomed to viewing Southerners—black and white—as devoid of economic initiative, the “Puritan work ethic,” and self-discipline, they believed that only “Northern capital and energy” could bring “the blessings of a free labor system to the region.”

The Northerners were especially successful in taking control of Southern railroads, aided by state legislatures. In 1870, Northerners controlled 21% of the South’s railroads (by mileage); 19% of the directors were from the North. By 1890, they controlled 88% of the mileage; 47% of the directors were from the North.

April 17th, 2018, 5:22 am

 

Joshua Landis said:

I should have added the Indian-American Wars to this list. In 1830, the U.S. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act, authorizing the government to relocate Native Americans from their homelands within established states to lands west of the Mississippi River, accommodating European-American expansion. This resulted in the ethnic cleansing of many tribes, with the brutal, forced marches coming to be known as The Trail of Tears. The expropriation of the Native American peoples is perhaps the largest such expropriation after a “civil war,” if we can call it that.

April 17th, 2018, 5:30 am

 

Eugene said:

I presume this explains the present world situation being led by the U.S.A. aggression, especially in the M.E.N.A.? It does make sense, if that’s what one is searching for.

April 17th, 2018, 6:33 am

 

Tom57 said:

@JUSTME I won´t bore you with the relevant statistics. Fact of the matter is that only a very small percentage of Syrian refugees were taken on as apprentices by German industry. Although there is a dire need. That was incidentally why the bigwhigs of industry like Daimler boss Zetschel were very much for taking that many refugees.Turned out most have neither the skills nor the basic education to start as trainees. Let alone start right away in some skilled capacity. For menial labour there are already enough people from Eastern Europe.
As for integrating: how do you integrate people into a society were paranoia is so rampant that 50% of parents drive their kids to school? Were they freak out if there is a skuffle in the school yard?
But most of all: how do you integrate masses of young men if there are no young women? And if you take in the families of all these young men why would anybody expect anything else but more of the ghettos and paralell societies that exist in all major German cities? If integration hasn´t worked (or worked very badly) with immigrants from Turkey why should it work with masses of immigrants from an Arab country?
Finally: a lot of these young men are in fact islamists. Just like 90% of the rebels. I share a lot of their criticism of our societies. Or I can at least understand it. But to suppose that these people have anything but scorn for our ways or want to integrate is naive indeed.

April 17th, 2018, 8:11 am

 

Joshua Landis said:

I mention the various U.S. experiments with reconstruction following civil war because every society faces a quandary after civil war about land rights and reconstruction. How do you reconstruct quickly and welcome investment in re-building, while still allowing for equity – even if equity is a goal – and equity is often not a goal, as was the case with the Revolutionary War emigres and American Indians, who were ethnically cleansed in order to make way for European settlers.

But in Syria’s case, where so many buildings have been destroyed, there is a real logistical difficulty in rebuilding. If someone owns a floor of a destroyed apartment building, how is compensation to be rewarded – and if he is dead, how long does one wait for an answer. Of course, the Syrian regime is likely to take a hostile view of those who fought with rebel groups or who have fled the country for “alleged” opposition sympathies. As Erwin argues in this article argues, the regime is likely to reward “loyalists” in order to consolidate its power.

This is almost always the case after a civil war – how much political questions are allowed to over-ride legal questions of ownership is the real question. As some commentators have suggested, Erwin presumes the worst of the Baath Party and Assad regime. He does not believe that their will be “ethic” cleansing, as some have argued for the simple reason that there are not enough “Alawites” to populate reconstructed neighborhoods or enough “Shiites” who can afford to buy apartments. For this reason, those who make the most money from Law 10 are likely to be Sunni investors who are loyalists.

April 17th, 2018, 12:39 pm

 

Tom57 said:

I think Mr. Landis poses an interesting question. If we take a totally different but also similar situation: West Germany after the war. 50% of the housing stock destroyed. One quarter of the population refugees who had been forced to flee their homes and had absolutely nothing. On top a serious gender imbalance, lacking death certificates of former owners a.s.o, a.s.o. The first and foremost decision was to dispand with traditional ownership rights. There was central allocation of living space. So many square meters per person and if you had more somebody else moved in. In capitalist US oriented West Germany!!! If there was any question of ownership the property reverted to the State. Main thing was to rebuild. Formerly rich people who had lost everything got a certain token amount of money from the ones which still had their property intact. There was a lot of injustice. But West Germany would have never been rebuild if there had been an attempt at settling all questions of ownership. It´s just not possible after such devastation and death. One can try though and it is very much the question whether Syria will even try. But a certain amount of injustice is inevitable after such chaos like in Syria.

April 17th, 2018, 4:27 pm

 

Ghufran said:

Most of the stories of destroyed countries that came back included something that Syria does not have, a new political system that was largely inclusive and a departure from orthodox intrusive “religionism”. Building the Syrian persona will be a daunting task regardless of how much money will be made available for reconstruction. My opposition to violence and armed rebellion was not due to support of Assad but mostly due to the realization that Syria is a relatively poor country that is divided and has very few friends. Notice that the support both sides received was from autocratic regimes or regional and international powers that have no genuine interest in the welfare of Syrians.
يا أمة ضحكت من جهلها الامم

April 17th, 2018, 10:05 pm

 

Tom57 said:

@GHUFRAN Syria should press Western Europe and especially Germany. If the EU is willing to pay Turkey 6 billion € a year to keep the border closed then it will be even more willing to pay Syria to take back her refugees. As to the Syria persona: I honestly don´t have a clue. But I know one thing from having spent a lot of time in Russia in the nineties: if there is chaos in the streets and neither you, your wife or your children are safe than you will tolerate anything that brings order. I think that is universal. I could well imagine that Syrians have by now come to the same conclusion. As Assad seems to be the best hope for oder (if not law) then people will tolerate his rule. At least for a few years.
Sure the West can continue to sanction Syria and make reconstruction impossible. Maybe then there will be a new revolution born out of desperation in a few years. But how utterly cynical and antihumqn it is to think like that. Much better would be to let the wounds heal and allow for a new start. If things get better and there is a new generation there will be a new chance for a more inclusive gonernment. Again a Russian paralell: the generation of Stalin had to get old for a Gorbatshev to come along…

April 18th, 2018, 9:21 am

 

Ghufran said:

Think tanks are mostly funded by people and agencies that are obsessed with animosity towards Iran and blind support to Israel. This is why they are reactionary and have failed to present a balanced view of the Middle East and can only throw random ideas that defy the truth and common sense. There are exceptions but group thinking is a disease that affects most of those think tanks. We should read what they write but challenge them at every opportunity. The West did nothing since 1948 to advance the cause of peace and freedom in the Middle East. Pointing fingers at Arab dictators and Iran does very little to change that fact.

April 18th, 2018, 4:59 pm

 

Erwin van Veen said:

Thanks for the many comments and lively discussion, to start with! Just to chip on a few points:

1) A key issue here is that the Syrian civil war originated in popular resistance against an autocratic regime that curtailed political liberties, engaged in arbitrary arrest and torture, neglected or marginalized large parts of its population (Kurds, citizens of Homs, Muslim Brotherhood members and the so-called Sunni belts of major cities) and paid scant attention to the devastating effects of droughts and large scale unemployment – all before 2011 and while enriching itself through elite-benefiting ‘liberalization’. All of this has been well documented. I.e. the basis of the conflict has very little to do with either the West, Iran or anyone else. The brutal and violent response of the regime created the initial curves of the downward spiral.

2) Subsequently, the vast volume of mass atrocities during the conflict was committed by the regime and the evidence for this is mounting day by day, although with little expectation of any accountability in the short to medium there.

While none of this denies that Syria was a lower middle income country with reasonable levels of service provision before 2011, it also shows that the regime intends and is capable of going to pretty much any length to retain power. Property dispossession is an essential element of the wealth required to do so once the guns fall silent, or so I think based on Law No. 10.

On this basis, assuming the worst is not as gratuitous as Bart Peeters suggests, in my opinion.

Moreover, there is a whole range of rather nuanced analysis of the situation in Syria from a whole range of think tanks – including Chatham House, the ICG, Clingendael and others that covers all views and angles imaginable – including pro Israel and anti Iran, as well as the reverse. Email me directly and I am happy to provide specifics to counter generalized views like this that lack merit.

April 19th, 2018, 10:22 am

 

maurice brasher said:

appreciate your thorough & detailed reporting, thanks!

Maurice Brasher, colleague of Elijah J Magnier

April 19th, 2018, 5:43 pm

 

Naji said:

A stunningly ignorant piece! Law no. 10 has many shortcomings and many lawyers in Syria have noted some unfair provisions, but it has nothing to do with what this “senior researcher” has written about. He would had well to consult a Syrian lawyer before writing this nonsense. To start with, it doesn’t apply to “all Syrians” or all lands and properties, but only to certain new planning areas of which only one or two have been announced so far. The rest of the article is too silly and ignorant to discuss. 😏

April 20th, 2018, 2:43 pm

 

Naji said:

I just posted above some serious legal criticisms of the law by a Syrian legal expert, but nothing to do with the inciteful ignorant drivel in this article.

April 20th, 2018, 2:55 pm

 

Naji said:

Well, it was in arabic and it looks like it didn’t post!

April 20th, 2018, 3:31 pm

 

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