There are many complexities surrounding the Damascus government's refusal to recognise civil events such as marriages, births, and deaths in areas currently outside its control, or events that occurred during opposition control of areas later recaptured by the regime forces.
Syria’s state-run SANA news agency reported on September 8 that the Implementation Directorate in charge of implementing Legislative Decree No. 66 of 2012, which operates under the Damascus governorate, delivered about 47,438 ownership deeds for zoning shares to property owners in Basilia City -- out of 93,829 owners.
The Syrian Salvation Government’s Ministry of Local Administration and Services issued Decision No. 506 on September 15, which ordered the merger of the Aleppo Engineers' Syndicate branch with its counterpart in Idlib. This unified entity will be named the Syrian Engineers' Syndicate, headquartered in the Engineers' Syndicate building on Al-Qusour Street in Idlib city.
The Ministry of Local Administration and Services in the Syrian Salvation Government began a campaign in September to demolish properties and homes to widen the road connecting the city of Al-Dana to the town of Deir Hassan, in northern Idlib countryside. The demolition operations included both licensed and unlicensed buildings.
On September 11, balconies collapsed on a building overlooking Damascus’ Adnan Al-Malki Square, in one of the city’s most upscale neighbourhoods. The building is next to a complex that contains residences and offices of the Syrian president, his family and members of his personal protection team.
Recent weeks have seen the Aleppo Souks Company start rehabilitation and restoration works in East Aleppo’s Souk Hanano, beginning with the removal and relocation of rubbles from the site. The restoration processes include the complete reconstruction of the market, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2023.
In the past, many rural Syrian farmers lived with their extended families in large “Arab-style” houses. As societies evolved and cities expanded, independence became a need for every family. But the Syrian conflict has pushed again large families to live together to save on housing expenses. The return of this form of communal living has become a heavy burden on families who were used to independence and were forced to accept it reluctantly.
According to some shop owners in Souk Qastal Al-Hajjarin in the old city of Aleppo, the latest Aleppo City Council’s policy is an intentional move to evict the remaining souk occupants in favour of the Qaterji Development and Real Estate Investment Company. Some accuse the Qaterji company of influencing the governorate and city councils, pressuring them to force shop owners to leave.
After the widespread destruction caused by the February 6 earthquake, the Ministry of Local Administration and Services in the Syrian Salvation Government (SSG) in Idlib is working to subject new construction operations to the Syrian building code and its annex related to earthquakes, imposing strict administrative and technical oversight mechanisms and increasing fees and taxes on construction work.
The Damascus governorate announced, for the third time, a sealed public auction in early September in order to recycle debris from buildings in the Al-Tadhamon district south of the capital, as well as from buildings and public facilities in the Qaboun Industrial zone to the northeast.
Hassan is trying to protect his family’s farmland after it was recently listed by the Directorate of Agriculture and Agricultural Reform in Aleppo governorate among properties offered for investment in public auctions. According to the Directorate, these lands in the southwest countryside of Aleppo are vacant and belong to people they describe as “absentees,” which include displaced persons and those forcibly expelled to opposition-held areas in northwestern Syria.
Syria’s state-run SANA news agency reported on June 9 that the local council of Darayya, located in the Rural Damascus governorate, has received an approval to restore 50 houses in the city with the support of unnamed international organisations working in Syria. SANA added that these organisations are currently selecting another 60 homes for rehabilitation.
Seven months after the devastating February 2023 earthquake that struck southern Turkey and northwestern Syria, the response of Syria’s National Fund to support those affected by the earthquake, remains modest at best within Lattakia governorate, and is hardly noticeable in Aleppo.
Nearly four years ago, in October 2019, factions from the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army took control of a strip of borderland between Syria and Turkey, which includes the cities of Tal Abyad in the Raqqa governorate and Ras Al-Ayn in the Hassakeh governorate.
The Syrian Salvation Government affiliated with the hardline Islamist group Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham is working to sideline local councils in the area under its control and implement a new administrative system based on so-called centralised municipalities - a move that comes after it also sidelined the Free Engineers’ Syndicate in Idlib in May.
Local militias in Aleppo, loyal to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, have reportedly seized 150 out of 450 pre-fab homes meant to benefit civilians impacted by the February 6 earthquake, according to a local source.
The regime-run Idlib governorate is continuing to seize lands owned by forcibly displaced absentees, offering the properties for investment via public auctions. For the first time, the latest auctions include agricultural lands cultivated with figs, olives and almond trees, as well as barren lands. Previously, in June and July, the governorate held its second annual auctions for pistachio orchards.
In 2012, a pro-regime militia seized the properties of man who owns land in a strategic location, forcing the owner to face a protracted struggle to recover his property rights.
Ayn Tarma is one of the closest cities in East Ghouta to Damascus city proper and is home to large informal settlements.
Until just a few years before 2011, the sales of houses, commercial shops, and agricultural lands in northeastern Syria were done via contracts that were not officially registered in the courts or Land Registry.