The Syrian constitution considers private property to be a right and that it cannot be confiscated except through an expropriation law that derives its legitimacy from the concept of "the public benefit." But who determines public benefit? And what happens when properties are expropriated, and public benefit is not achieved?


The Lattakia Provincial Council sent a recommendation in July to the Ministry of Local Administration and Environment to cancel expropriations along most of the coastal strip, given that none of the planned projects have been implemented since the properties were seized 45 years ago. However, it is unlikely that the ministry will heed the recommendation or reverse the expropriations.


A popular backlash has pushed the Kurdish-led administration of northeast Syria to repeal a law regulating the management of properties owned by "absentees" just one week after authorities issued the text. Officials said they halted the implementation of the law following "misunderstandings and different interpretations of its articles."


In recent weeks, as the date for the release of Aleppo’s new zoning plan approaches, the city’s council has stepped up monitoring in the destroyed eastern neighbourhoods. Municipal police are cracking down on construction sites and property owners who are trying to restore their buildings without permits.

The Qaboun industrial zone, a rare manufacturing zone within the capital’s administrative boundaries, will be demolished and redeveloped as a residential and commercial district under Law No. 10.

The Damascus governorate approved on June 25 the preliminary new zoning plan for the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp just south of the Syrian capital.


Five people, including three Lattakia City Council members, died when an unlicensed four-storey building collapsed in the informal Al-Ghurraf neighbourhood of Lattakia’s Al-Ramal Al-Janoubi district after city authorities moved to demolish the structure on June 24.


The Damascus municipality recently announced that 50 additional hectares of land would be deducted from Harasta, a city just northeast of Damascus, and annexed to the new organisational plan of Qaboun, an adjacent suburb of Damascus, in accordance with the controversial Law 10.


The Syrian Ministry of Defence has laid claim to 12.5 hectares of land in the Moadamiyeh suburb of Damascus for the purpose of constructing residential buildings and a sports facility, a former official from the town’s municipality told The Syria Report.