NOWHERE TO GO: Activists in Deir e-Zor launched a campaign this week to draw attention to a months-long siege and heavy regime bombing on different parts of the city, as residents find themselves caught between regime and Islamic State forces battling for control of the provincial capital.
“More than 300,000 civilians live in suffering from a [IS] blockade on [regime-controlled parts of] the city, preventing the entrance of food and medicine,” Jalal Ahmed, a spokesperson for the “Together Let’s Lift the Siege on Deir e-Zor,” told Syria Direct on Thursday.
IS fighters have encircled the regime-held areas of Deir e-Zor city for more than 70 days, reported pro-opposition news outlet All4Syria on Thursday.
“The Syrian government holds 35 percent of Deir e-Zor city, and about 20 percent of the province,” Mohammed Hasan, a pro-opposition activist, told Syria Direct on Thursday.
The regime currently controls the Deir e-Zor Military Airport, located on the southeast outskirts of the city, and the surrounding military areas, in addition to districts in the western half of the city.
Meanwhile, Abu Mujahed a-Shami, the alias of the director of the grassroots media campaign Deir e-Zor is Being Slaughtered Silently, said that the regime was not helping civilians under IS siege.
“Regime members take supplies that arrive at the airport and sell them to people at exorbitant prices,” a-Shami told Syria Direct earlier this week.
While civilians in regime-controlled parts of the city suffer from the IS blockade, residents in IS-controlled parts of the city face regime air raids.
Regime planes bombed residential areas of IS-ruled parts of Deir e-Zor city Wednesday, reported Deir e-Zor is Being Slaughtered Silently, as residents have learned to avoid being in streets when warplanes fly overhead.
Pro-government and IS forces have been fighting for Deir e-Zor city since mid-2014 when IS seized control of the majority of the province from the regime, Jabhat a-Nusra and other rebel groups.
-March 26, 2015
-Photo courtesy of @rakeeb050199524