Regime steps up East Ghouta air raids


January 22, 2015

January 22, 2015

By Brent Eng, Ammar Hamou and Firas Abd

AMMAN: Regime warplanes heavily bombed key rebel positions in the opposition-controlled Damascus suburbs of East Ghouta on Thursday for the second straight day, reported the pro-opposition Facebook news page Douma Revolution.

“Warplanes started circling in the sky this morning,” Saleem Abdul Mumin, a resident of Douma told Syria Direct on Thursday.

“You can’t imagine the fear when the MiG planes fly overhead,” he added.

DoumaBombing11 Regime warplanes bomb Douma on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Coordinating City Douma.

At least three strikes hit civilian districts in the city of Douma–the de facto opposition base in East Ghouta–on Thursday, as well as five air strikes on the opposition-controlled neighborhood of Jobar, just east of Abbasid Square in Damascus, said the pro-opposition news agency Local Coordination Committee in Syria.

The air raids had not stopped as of publishing.

On Wednesday, regime warplanes bombed a residential neighborhood in Douma five times and a village on the city’s outskirts twice, killing six and wounding dozens of others, said Douma Revolution.

Douma resident Abdul al-Haq Hamam was an eyewitness to Wednesday’s air strikes, describing to Syria Direct “terrifying scenes; the wounded were being evacuated by any means availablemotorbikes, cars, on foot.”

A doctor in Douma with the Unified Medical Bureau who requested anonymity said there were at least 45 injuries Wednesday, most of them women and children.”

The injuries, the doctor said, “range from light to critical, some cases needed surgery and intensive care. The office confirms that these cases are victims of yesterday’s bombing only.”

The intensification in bombing comes on the heels of a mass exodus, facilitated by the Syrian army, of more than 2,000 civilians from besieged opposition-controlled parts of East Ghouta to regime territory earlier this week, reported official state news SANA.

Many of the internally displaced people came from rebel-dominated areas such as Jobar and Douma, according to SANA, where the state agency says opposition infighting has caused many to abandon the area.

Earlier this month, Jaish al-Islam–the dominant rebel group in the region led by Zahran Aloush–unilaterally toppled its main rival in Douma, Jaish al-Umma.

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