Sources of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said, from inside eastern Ghouta in the countryside of the capital, Damascus, that merchants who hail from the city of al-Mayadin in Deir-ez-Zor, who are directly affiliated with the local Abbas Brigade militia, loyal to the Iranian forces, and working under its command, continue to buy real estate from the people in all areas of eastern Ghouta. This has been happening through Abu Yasser al-Bakari, who has previously bought a lot of real estate in various areas of eastern Ghouta on the orders of “AA,” the commander of a militia loyal to Iran.
During the recent period, the process was concentrated in the southern sector areas of eastern Ghouta, in the areas of Zebdine, Deir al-Asafir, Hatat al-Turkman, and al-Malihah, where large areas of agricultural land, homes, restaurants, and parks, which had been damaged by military operations earlier. About 100 houses in the city of a-Maliha were bought, some of which had been completely destroyed.
Additionally, negotiations are taking place between the militias and the owners of real estate offices to buy buildings for people who are mostly outside the country, whose properties were destroyed due to airstrikes during the military operations. During the previous period, militias began to search for destroyed buildings to buy, without explaining the reasons for their interest in buying them, after they had been buying furnished houses and shops in good condition. They also bought a large number of parks and restaurants in the areas of Hatat al-Turkman, Deir al-Asafir, and Zabadin from their owners as of late.
Real estate purchases in eastern Ghouta are mainly concentrated in Kafr Batna, Haza, Saqba, Ain Tarma, al-Maliha, and Zamalka, and the properties include those offered for sale by their owners in addition to properties owned by people who reside in northern Syria or even outside the country. The sale happens through intermediaries between the two parties, whereby the number of properties purchased within a few months by the group affiliated with the Abbas Brigade militia reached more than 300 properties in a short period of time, while the value of the properties purchased ranged between 25 and 125 million Syrian pounds, depending on the area.
According to SOHR, the process is continuing in full swing, and representatives of these merchants, who carry personal weapons, regularly visit real estate offices in eastern Ghouta inquiring about the property for sale, and asking the owners of those offices to inform them in the event that any property goes on the market. This has sowed fear among the people and residents of the region regarding the reasons and motivations of these people to buy the huge amount of real estate within their cities and towns.