June 10, 2013
By Jacob Wirtschafter
AMMAN: Government and Hezbollah forces held celebrations for their victory over the town of Qusayr following the retreat by the FSA from this strategic crossroad in west Syria as regime war planes launched air strikes in the towns of northern Homs province on Monday.
“The regime is still randomly bombing Qusayr and the surrounding areas with Air Force MiGs and heavy artillery,” said Bashir Abu Sharwan, a media activist with Islamist leanings based in Syria’s third-largest city.
map by: Abdulrahman Al-Masri
Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television station showed on Sunday what it claimed to be jubilant residents returning to the “liberated” town. Syrian state run news agency SANA reported residents gathered to “celebrate the safety and stability of the city.”
“What is happening right now is a media game by the regime and its media outlets, said independent activist Khalid Talawi via Skype from Homs.
“They are bringing Alawite and Shiite people from other towns and say the people of al-Qusayr going back to their lands,” Talawi added.
Regime forces and its allies “will continue on to Aleppo. They are imposing a blockade around Homs,” Talawi said, adding that he believes the regime is seeking to create an enclave for ethnic Alawites.
The pro-revolution Al-Qusayr Local Coordination Council issued an appeal for aid for those who have abandoned Qusayr.
“The people who fled al-Qusayr and made it to Wadi Arsal are still asking for help. They urgently need blankets, water, infant formula, and bread,” said the LCC in a statement posted on its Facebook page.
Pro–rebel sources the Homs province told the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday that all contact with the dozens of civilian refugees who were in the orchards of al-Husseiniya village have been cut since Saturday.
“They are thought to be killed and injured after the regime forces bombarded the area,” the Observatory reported.
With additional reporting by ِِِAbdulrahman Al-Masri and Ahmed Kwider.