Amidst a regime campaign of nearly daily regime airstrikes, civilians in the north Homs countryside have begun looking to their own backyards for safety, taking shelter in parts of an old cement water line during bombings.
“Because of the suffocating siege and bombing that the people of the countryside are exposed to, they have been forced to take refuge in and around water lines,” Mohammed al-Homsi from the Homs Media Center told Syria Direct on Monday.
The large cement pipes are part of an old, out-of-service water line running six meters underground from the Homs countryside into Hama, said al-Homsi.
When the bombings start, which can last several hours, “people bring essentials: blankets and food and enough water to ward off hunger,” said Yarob al-Dali, a resident of Rastan.
Residents face a host of issues as they wait out bombings, according to al-Dali, among them the cold, insects, the lack of electricity and bathrooms, and over-crowding.
“They are damp, dingy places, not suitable to stay in for a long time,” said al-Homsi, noting that water remains in parts of the pipes.
An estimated 2,000 families take refuge in the pipes when the bombing starts, said al-Dali.
Residents of the towns of Rastan and Tabliseh have been taking refuge in the pipes since 2013, “when the regime intensified its bombings on the countryside,” he added.
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