Syrian regime destroys olive trees, crops in recaptured areas

Syrian regime destroys olive trees, crops in recaptured areas
2 min read
09 September, 2019
Local residents in north Syria report the regime destroying trees and crops in areas recaptured from rebels.
North Syria is rich in olive trees (facebook)
Syrian regime forces began a new form of retaliation against local residents in the city of Kafr Zita in the northern Hama countryside by cutting down olive trees in the city.

The area is known area rich in olive and pistachio trees which are estimated at 1 million trees.

Mohammed Nayef, a citizen of the area told The New Arab's Syria correspondent that the regime has prevented people from reaching the city, much of which has been reduced to rubble by regime bombardment.

"We do not know what the real goal of the regime’s militia by cutting down trees in the agricultural land surrounding the city – perhaps for fuel," he said, although he deemed the felling of trees in the area a ‘retaliatory act’.

"If they [residents] are able to return to Kafr Zita later, they will only find destroyed houses and fallen trees."

Madin Khalil, the head of the local council, explained that the regime forces started to fell trees in the area north of Kafr Zita, pointing out some of these trees are between 15 and 70 years old.

Khalil added that these forces also burned wheat and barley crops during their military operations in the northern countryside of Hama and southern Idlib.

"Many houses were burned in both Kafr Nabuda and the surrounding towns. The regime forces are deliberately vandalizing and damaging everything. It is normal for those who killed, robbed and destroyed property to burn trees and cut them,” a refugee in the area said.

These practices were also seen in the northern countryside of Homs. Ali al-Hussein, 56, from the area, said that the regime forces burned 100 olive trees in 2015.

Bashar al-Assad's regime has recently launched an offensive, recapturing areas in north Syria.