Jobar takes another blow following chemical attack
August 25, 2013
RETRIBUTION: The regime struck the Jobar neighborhood of Damascus Sunday with several surface-to-surface missiles, exacting revenge against Free Syrian Army units who downed a MiG jet in the northwest Damascus suburb on Saturday. “Jobar is one of the strategic neighborhoods of Damascus [because] it is close to the heart of the capital,” says Musa’ab Abu Futada of the FSA’s Military Council media office in Damascus. Abu Futada believes that Jobar has also been targeted by the regime because the Free Army killed “a number of officers from the Republican Guard and the regime’s National Defense Force” who are stationed in Jobar.
“Massive damage was inflicted in Jobar by at least six surface-to-surface missiles,” says a Free Army soldier, panning over freshly demolished concrete structures.
“We were born in Jobar, we lived in Jobar, and we will die in Jobar,” another soldier adds, referencing Assad’s unrelenting bombardment of his city.
The Jobar neighborhood, situated in Northwest Damascus, once had a population of nearly 300,000 people, but many residents have fled due to ongoing shelling. Most recently, people evacuated towns and villages of the Damascus suburbs following reported chemical attacks last Wednesday. The government denies that any such attack took place, but French NGO Doctors Without Borders reported that symptoms of the nearly 3,600 residents admitted to its hospitals are consistent with a neurotoxic agent. Of this number, 355 died.
Meanwhile, American military leadership and its main Western allies, are slated to meet with regional powers Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar in Jordan this week to discuss the situation in Syria. Preparations for the meeting, which will be the third on the topic of Syria this year, have been ongoing for two months.
The meeting carries new importance in light of the chemical weapons reportedly employed last week in the vicinity of Syria’s capital that resulted in hundreds of deaths, according to the Syrian Observatory on Human Rights, which documents the conflict.