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Turkish-Backed Militants Seize Relief Organizations’ Houses, Impose Illegal Tolls In Syria’s Idlib, Aleppo Countrysides

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Turkish-Backed Militants Seize Relief Organizations' Houses, Impose Illegal Tolls In Syria's Idlib, Aleppo Countrysides

A family of farmers harvests maize in rural Aleppo in Syria. Source: WFP/Marwa Awad

Written by Khaled Iskef.

Armed groups sponsored by Turkey carry on oppressive practices that exploit citizens by usurping their properties on one pretext or another.

It has come to a point where they have taken over houses built by the Relief Organizations (ROs) to shelter displaced people. At the same time, they imposed tolls on locals in return for allowing them cultivate their own farmland.

Moreover, sources has indicated that Jabhat al-Nusra armed fractions, classified on the list of International Terrorism, conducted raids on many houses in Abou Talha village in Salqin countryside in the south of Idlib, in Sunday morning. During these raids, residents were expelled and consequently their houses were seized by militants under the pretext of “public properties” according to their claims.

The sources have assured that all houses that were depopulated had been built by ROs; houses that sheltered dozens of families displaced because of armed groups or completely destroyed houses as a result of war. However, that did not hinder al-Nusra armed groups from displacing people again and taking over (ROs) houses in a clear robbery and an oppressive manner which irritated organizations responsible for building these houses, especially after al-Nusra had announced claims of population control to justify taking over the houses which it considered as “public properties”.

Moreover, the armed groups robberies have chased farmland owners in Turandah village in Afrin in Aleppo’s north by a decision announced by Levant Front on Sunday that it imposes tolls of 150 Turkish Lira on farmers in return for allowing them farm and work in their lands.

Imposing on farmers such a requirement for working in their own lands is unprecedented. Rather, the act of imposing tolls on different corps production was prevalent. But this new decision clamped down hard on people, being obliged to pay large amounts of money to use their own lands.

Moreover, Levant Front threatened those who farm their lands without a prior permission, by paying tolls, to take over their lands, impose penalties and imprison them pretending that imposing tolls is a “tax” for protection of the farming lands according to their claims.

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