A truce, and mortars, for two south Damascus neighborhoods


November 13, 2014

al-Qadam

BAIT AND SWITCH: Although the south Damascus districts of al-Qadam (pictured above) and al-Asali agreed to a truce with the regime 11 weeks ago that would provide relief after more than two years of a total blockade, mortars continue to fall on both neighborhoods.

On Tuesday, regime forces reportedly launched a mortar into the al-Asali district, reported the pro-opposition Media Center for the Southern Neighborhoods of Damascus, the same day that several Syrian Arab Red Crescent trucks loaded with food, blankets and mattresses entered al-Qadam and al-Asali.

The sick and wounded from both districts were taken outside for treatment as per the truce terms, reported the pro-opposition media office of the Local Council of al-Qadam in Damascus.

On November 6, a week after allowing dozens of residents back into al-Qadm as part of the truce agreement with the mayor of Damascus and head of the National Defense Forces, regime forces launched artillery shells into al-Asali at a rate of five shells per hour, and launched mortars into al-Qadam as well—without any available information on casualties, reported pro-opposition Smart News agency.

The truce in al-Asali and al-Qadam follows “successful reconciliation agreements” in the West Ghouta town of Yelda earlier this year, reported pro-regime Syria News.

That truce appears to have done little to lighten Yelda residents’ suffering after enduring a two-year long siege.

“The regime controls how much, and what types of food enter Yelda,” Mohamad al-Halwani, a Yelda resident and photographer told Syria direct in early September, adding that “water is [still] cut off and only reaches a few residential areas.”

Only 40 percent of residents have the money to purchase what limited quantities of food do enter the town, according to an announcement published September 7 by the Yelda Local Coordination Committee, and residents are still prevented from going to work outside the village by regime-imposed checkpoints.

-November 13, 2014

-Photo courtesy of AlQadam LCC.

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