UNWELCOME GUESTS: Regime bombings in southern Damascus coincided with clashes on Saturday between Jabhat a-Nusra and Liwa Sham a-Rasoul—a local rebel faction—reported the Beit Sahem Local Coordination Council’s Facebook page.
Sham News Network reported the cause of the clashes was “accumulated grievances” between Nusra and local residents. Nusra has become increasingly unpopular in southern Damascus as its presence there brings regime pressure in the form of shelling and blockade.
The towns of Beit Sahem, Yelda and Babila agreed to truces with the regime in early 2014. The three towns are located on the midpoint of the highway connecting the city of Damascus and Damascus International Airport.
The clashes come in the wake of demonstrations in front of Nusra’s local headquarters following prayers on Friday calling for Nusra to leave the area. Six civilians were injured in the protests when Nusra members opened fire on the demonstrators, according to pro-Kurdish news agency ARA News.
On December 30, protests began in Beit Sahem calling for Nusra to leave the area, which the organization did in mid-January, only to return in the past several weeks.
-March 8, 2015
-Photo courtesy of Beit Sahem
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