NECTAR OF THE GODS: A small group of 11 Jabhat a-Nusra combatants reportedly led an advance Sunday into the regime-controlled Jeb al-Jandali neighborhood in Homs, pro-opposition media reported on Monday.
There, after exploding a car bomb, rebels claimed to have seized stocks of food. “The best photo today after 21 months of blockade: young men seized food and juice,” read the caption on this photo posted Monday on Facebook.
The rebels’ progress is the first tangible advance since the regime began its stranglehold on Old Homs 679 days ago.
“Jabhat a-Nusra executed the advance after the [car] bomb” on Sunday, activist Ahmed Yasseen told Syria Direct on Monday from inside Old Homs, adding that “11 combatants from a-Nusra liberated a large part of Jeb al-Jandali on Sunday.”
Last week, the Syrian government intensified shelling on the neighborhoods in a final push to recapture what rebels once considered the heart of peaceful protests that began the Syrian uprising in March 2011.
Since June 6, 2012, Syrian government forces have been blockading the neighborhoods, allowing no humanitarian aid into the city outside of a temporary, United Nations-negotiated truce in February 2014 that saw the evacuation of some 1,400 citizens (amidst starvation in the encircled neighborhoods).
Dozens of rebels have surrendered themselves since then. ”It is true, we are currently suffering from a lack of fighters,” pro-opposition media activist Abu al-Joud told Syria Direct last Wednesday.
– April 21, 2014
Photo courtesy of al-Thowra a-Souria.
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