Monday, October 29, 2012

Shelling and car bombs in Damascus

From Akram, the chief Angry Arab's correspondent in Syria: "Unsurprisingly, the cease-fire brokered by the UN envoy, Lakhdar Ibrahimi, collapsed entirely before completing its second day when intense clashes erupted since the morning in the eastern suburbs of Damascus especially in Harasta, Zamalka and Douma. The fixed wing warplanes returned back to the skies with density never seen before even in days that saw the worst fighting there the howitzers and tanks were shelling heavily. With the fighting taking place in an increasing intensity, car bombs move from one place to another inside the Syrian capital and other areas. After the blast that al-Zohour district in the first cease-fire day and took the lives of tens of innocents, a car bomb exploded today morning in Jaramana that, in an initial income, killed 5 and 69 others injured (Arabic). Reports that couldn’t be confirmed said the explosion was caused by a suicide operation when a car stormed a shop before being exploded. Yesterday, social media networks had reported that an explosive implanted in a car owned by a senior police officer that was parked in Tabala street, an extention of Dwela’a district, was dismantled (Arabic).

While the shelling of the eastern suburbs of Damascus continues, heavily, for the fourth consecutive day, the humanitarian outcome is still not entirely clear. Opposition web (Arabic) pages reported wide destruction of the towns targeted by the shelling, news confirmed to me by a trustful source who, until yesterday, has lived in Harasta but obliged to flee to Damascus with his family during the latest campaign. He described the life there as impossible adding that the town is merely a ghost city now, in the absence of drinking water, electricity and food with only fighters and few elders and disabled civilians are still there. Another source with ties to the pro-Assad sectors and who live in Tishreen district, near Harasta, described fierce battles that are taking place there between the military supported by the popular committees (known as Shabiha) from one side and the rebels from the other side adding that, as far as he knows, the military is suffering heavy losses."