According to IS, the residence of the suburbs in Damascus has prevented them from leaving their homes


Damascus (AFP) – Abu Mohammed thought he could finally go home after being expelled from his suburbs in Damascus, but said the Syrian authorities had blocked his return by misrepresenting his apartment as unfit for life.

In May, regime forces were planted from an Islamic state from a part of the neighborhood of the capital, Tadamun, with a campaign of air strikes and shelling.

For the first time in six years, which meant a complete government control, it was restored across the region, which brought peace that sparked hope for the homeland.

Amu, but Abu Mohammed and others from Tadamun complain that the authorities thought that many of the residences were inadequate and blocked their owners to return to the controversial recovery plan.

Five months after IS was omitted, the regime was prevented from accessing the former Jihadist stronghold now under strict security, and the AFP group could not enter.

At the last checkpoint, the ruins blocked the road. The ground in the nearby building lay on top of the other, and in the minaret there was a hole.

Abu Mohammed said he managed to see his home before the state inspectors came in and insisted he was still alright despite the official decision.

"There was not even a hole for a bullet, but it was just plundered," he said, giving a pseudonym to avoid retaliation.

"It's so unfair for citizens who have been waiting for years (to return) and have always stood for the state".

Another potential returnee, Othman al-Ayssami, 55, was bitter.

"Why can not I and thousands of other people go home?" asked the lawyer.

"After the end of the military operations, I entered the neighborhood, which was expecting enormous damage," he said.

But in his four-storey home, "only windows were broken", Ayssami said, without indicating whether his residence was considered inappropriate.

– "Right to Home" –

The Tadamuna neighborhood has long been in the gray zone.

By orchards, since the late 1960s, people who fled from the Golan Heights of Israel or flocked to Damascus from the countryside, often without official permission to build there, settled.

But today his fate seems particularly uncertain, after the provincial authorities announced last year that they would be affected by the controversial development law.

The law, known as Decree 10, allows the government to seize private property in order to create a zonal development that would pay out the shares of new projects to owners.

If their land is selected, owners inevitably lose their property and must apply for the acceptance of shares in exchange.

Construction in Tadamun will not start for several years, but officials have already been dispatched to inspect their homes.

The provincial commissions were tasked with assessing the damage and assessing whether approximately 25,000 housing units are suitable for human existence.

Even if their homes are declared standard, no resident can move to the next.

When they found that a large number of homes designated as inadequate were not actually damaged in combat, members of the community had several meetings with the commission.

To disappoint their frustration, they set up a Facebook page called "The Tadamun Exiles".

"Our right is to go home," wrote one displaced population.

– red wax –

The Commission has divided the neighborhood into three sectors, the latter covering an area that was once under control.

Commission head Faisal Srour told AFP that in the first two sectors inspectors have so far visited 10,000 homes, of which 2,500 are suitable for life and 1,000 are not.

The remainder was still classified, but most units in the former Jihad sector were likely to be deemed incompetent.

"There was a creature there," he said.

Tadamun was taken over by rebels in 2012, and part three years later fell to jihadist IS.

For many years now, the majority of the population has forced themselves to flee their homes. Today, only 65,000 people live, compared to 250,000 before the outbreak of the war in 2011.

Homes that are declared fit for living have a serial number and seal with red wax, and officials insist that owners can easily take them.

The mayor can "keep his house" after proving ownership, said Mayor Tadamuna Ahmed Iskandar, who spoke portraiture of Bashar al-Assad in military uniform and sunglasses.

But because Tadamun is an informal neighborhood, only 10 percent of homes officially registered property actions – and that if they were not lost during the war.

Most of the others in this area have only semi-official documents showing residence.

Even for those who managed to return, delays seem only temporary.

Over time, the reconstruction, which is to begin in four to five years, should see that the whole area is decomposed to the ground.

Even at that time, more than a tenth of the population of the suburbs will be able to present the property actions that will receive shares in the reconstruction project.

But the head of the Srour Inspection Commission said that those who could not prove ownership – probably at least 90 percent of the population – would not be homeless.

"We will not throw people in the street, but they will provide them with compensation or alternative housing," he said.

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