The Russians are blocking the return of civilians to the western Harasta regionwww.shwiesh.com3 min reading Dec 6, 2020

The security committees in Dahiet al-Assad informed Harasta City Council that the decision issued by the Damascus Countryside Governorate recently, regarding the return of people to western Harasta lands, will not be implemented, based on the requests of the Russian side.

An informed source from the Harasta city council told Sawt al-Asimah: The Russians have recently stationed inside the Regiment 41 of the Special Units of the regime’s army, which is located in the lands between the western Harasta orchards and the mountain range that includes the suburb of al-Assad.

The source added: The Russians’ refusal to return people to the orchards of Harasta was due to their final rejection of the civilian presence in those orchards, despite the presence of a distance between the last plot of land to which they could return, and the military campus of the aforementioned regiment.

One of the real estate workers in Harasta told the voice of the capital: There is a great fear of expropriating the lands surrounding the regiment for the benefit of the Russians, or acquiring it by the regime and leasing it to the Russians to expand their military bases at the northern entrance to the capital Damascus, indicating that returning to that area has become impossible.

The Damascus countryside governorate informed the Harasta Council at the beginning of last November, that a decision was issued allowing some people to return to the western orchards of Harasta, after the approval of the National Security Office and the security authorities of the Syrian regime.

The sources of Voice of the Capital said at the time: that the conditions included proof of real estate ownership through official documents, provided that housing is partially damaged, adding that the governorate prevented owners of houses that were completely destroyed, or that require reconstruction, from returning definitively.

The sources confirmed that the provincial council stipulated obtaining written undertakings from real estate owners in the area to voluntarily evacuate housing and agricultural land in the event that any organizational plan is issued later, noting that the number of homes that their owners can live in in accordance with the conditions of the province does not exceed 40 homes.

The city of Harasta is divided into two parts, east and west, separated by the International Highway (Damascus – Homs). The western region is considered the agricultural of the city, and it connects to the orchards of Qaboun and Barzeh and reaches the borders of Dahiyat Al-Assad.

During the current year, the region witnessed two demolition campaigns, one of which was carried out by military units of the Fourth Division, in early May, to carry out demolition operations that affected more than 50 homes in the western Harasta region, using bulldozers and heavy industrial vehicles, followed by a demolition campaign launched by military units affiliated with the Republican Guard. On the second of June 2020, during which a number of homes were demolished in the “Al-Owina” neighborhood in the same area.

The demolition campaign stopped at that time, after a meeting held by a delegation of the people of the area, which included the head of the city council, “Adnan Al-Wazah,” and a number of members of the reconciliation committees in the city, and the former mayor of the targeted neighborhood, “Abu Ziyad Kamasheh,” with the head of the military security branch in the area, during which the delegation obtained On a written letter issued by the head of the Military Security Branch, directed to the commander of the Republican Guard to “temporarily” stop the operation.

At the beginning of this year, the system allowed some residents of the area to visit it for a limited number of hours per day, after popular pressure on the reconciliation committees, provided that the approval of the former military official in the city, Brigadier General in the Fourth Division, “Najib Karimo,” was obtained, on condition that he leave the personal identity of those wishing to visit their homes Military checkpoints stationed in the vicinity of the area, and retrieve them during their exit.

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