Photos show the iron fence and gate at Khalifah Omar Bin Abdul Aziz’s shrine in Idlib after the Syrian regime took control of it

The top photo shows fencing around the shrine of Khalifah Omar Bin Abdul Aziz in al Deir al Sharqi village in the southern suburbs of Idlib governorate after the Syrian regime stole the iron and metal gate at the shrine’s entrance. This looting took place after the Syrian regime seized control of the village on January 24, 2020. Local activists told SNHR that the fence was in good condition before the regime seized control of the village which is shown in the lower photo with Syrian regime personnel in front of it. We note that the Ministry of Awqaf ‘Endowments’ claimed in June 2019, that it was carrying out restoration on the shrine to open it to visitors.

We confirm that this looting is a systematic strategy followed by the Syrian regime forces and their loyalist militias which is applied in all areas controlled by these forces, according to which the Syrian regime bombs buildings, then displaces residents and loots their homes and all other buildings in a brutal, multifaceted strategy intended to rob the people in every way. SNHR has been working for several months on an extensive report detailing this systematic phenomenon seen in several regions of the Syrian governorates.

Photo sources: The top photo was published on November 16, 2020 by social media accounts of citizens living in areas controlled by Syrian regime forces, while the lower one was shared online by pro-Syrian regime accounts at the beginning of February 2020, as a form of bragging about the regime forces seizing control of the shrine.