Idlib’s Provincial Council expressed full rejection of the mass forced displacement operations the Assad regime has repeatedly carried out against residents of liberated areas across Syria. The latest of those attempts was in the Wadi Barada valley northwest of Damascus. The Council stressed that these operations are aimed at “emptying Syrian cities and towns of the indigenous population to serve Iran’s plans in the region.”
In a statement released on Monday, the Council condemned the United Nations’ silence over the Iranian-backed mass forced displacement operations in Syria, stressing that forcing people out of their homes amounted to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The Syrian Coalition on Monday condemned the forced displacement of residents in the Wadi Barada valley. It stressed that forcing civilians out of their homes and towns, under whatever pretext, is a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement and a continuation of the regime’s plans to bring about demographic change in Syria.
The first batch of evacuees from the Wadi Barada valley arrived in the province of Idlib on Monday evening following an evacuation deal whereby the local residents were forced to leave their homes. The deal was reached in the wake of a ferocious onslaught by regime forces and the Hezbollah militias on the valley that began in late 2016.
The bombardment on the area has caused severe damage to Ayn Alfija water spring, the main water supply for Damascus and its countryside as well as knocked out all hospitals and medical centers in the area despite the truce which took effect on December 29, 2016. Residents in the area were forced to agree to the regime’s terms and leave their homes.
The Council stressed the right of forcibly displaced Syrians to return to their towns and villages at all costs, denouncing demographic changes being brought about by the Assad regime and its Iranian allies. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)