Regime attacks haunt public markets in rebel-held Syrian towns

A vegetable market in Aleppo city lies in ruins in pictures posted to social media after it was struck by a surface-to-surface missile on Monday, in the latest in a series of regime attacks on crowded public markets in rebel-held towns across Syria that many believe are a deliberate attempt to sabotage a normal return to life.

“The regime is intentionally bombing public markets in Aleppo,” Bassel Abu Hamza, a journalist based in the city told Syria Direct on Tuesday, “in an attempt to displace people from the neighborhoods to which life has gradually returned.”

Aerial and ground-based regime bombardment of public markets have left more than 150 civilians dead and hundreds injured over the past two months.

Syrian state media did not mention Monday’s attack, in which at least 25 civilians were killed and dozens of others injured in western Aleppo’s opposition-held al-Shaar neighborhood during the market’s peak afternoon hours on Monday, the pro-opposition Aleppo Media Center reported.

“This is what Bashar wants. This is a gift for Eid: a mother crying for her children,” a man working to rescue victims of the bombings said in a video report by the pro-opposition Aleppo Today news channel.

This past Friday, barrel bombs were dropped on a public market in the east Daraa countryside town of Busra a-Sham, killing 20 and injuring 50, the Umayya Media Center reported.

Thirteen regime bombings targeted popular markets across Syria during August, the human rights office of the Syrian Revolutionary Coordination Councils Union reported earlier this month, including barrel bombings that killed 15 in Idlib’s al-Bareh city and East Ghouta’s “Great Douma Massacre” in which some 100 civilians were killed and 300 others injured.

- Photo courtesy of Revolution Syria.

Moutasem Jamal

Moutasem Jamal studied English literature. He moved to Jordan after losing his job because of violence in his area.

Mateo Nelson

Mateo Nelson was a 2014-2015 fellow at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad program (CASA I) in Amman, Jordan. Mateo holds a BA in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University, with a certificate in Arabic Language and Culture.