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Tahrir al-Sham expels displaced families in Idlib to house its elements

By Waleed Abu al-Khair in Cairo

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Tahrir al-Sham elements arrive in Idlib from al-Yarmouk camp pursuant to an agreement with the Syrian regime in April. [Photo courtesy of Musab Assaf]

Tahrir al-Sham has been expelling displaced families from houses they are occupying in Syria's Idlib province in order to house its own elements and their families instead, an activist told Diyaruna Wednesday (July 25th).

Hundreds of the group's elements and elements of other opposition groups have arrived in Idlib in northern Syria in recent weeks following reconciliation agreements signed between armed opposition groups and the Syrian regime and its ally Russia.

Those agreements have seen the government retake opposition-held areas, the last of which are in Daraa and Quneitra provinces in the south of the country.

Those who rejected the deal were allowed safe passage out of the city.

"More than 30 families living in 13 houses in the city of Idlib and its rural areas received notices from Tahrir al-Sham's security branches informing them that they must vacate the houses they occupy within one week," local activist Musab Assaf told Diyaruna.

It was later learned that the group intends to secure housing for its own elements and their families who moved to northern Syria pursuant to reconciliation agreements made with the regime in several regions, he said.

Tahrir al-Sham elements were transported to Idlib as stipulated by the terms of the agreements along with other fighters who refused to remain in regime-controlled areas, he added.

"Most of the families [ordered to evacuate] pay a monthly rent for housing and do not live there free of charge," Assaf said.

Some of the houses are occupied by four families who split the rent due to the surge in rent costs and Tahrir al-Sham's imposed taxes, he added.

The number of families who were ordered to evacuate might be much higher, Assaf said, as many families may not have disclosed that they have received an evacuation notice out of fear of the group's elements.

Other armed factions whose elements were transported to the Idlib region are taking similar actions, he said.

Nour al-Din al-Zenki elements also have allegedly forced people out of their houses in the town of Jamiyat al-Rahal between Idlib And Aleppo, Assaf said.

"Anger and outrage against Tahrir al-Sham prevail among the residents of the region," he said.

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