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Syria Direct: News Update 11-26-14

Rebels open Ein al-Fijeh water supply after truce Rebels in […]

26 November 2014

Rebels open Ein al-Fijeh water supply after truce

Rebels in the town of Ein al-Fijeh reopened the flow of water to Damascus and its suburbs Tuesday after a partial cutoff lasting three days, reported the LCC from Wadi Barada.

The move follows a truce signed between rebels and the regime Tuesday after five days of regime encirclement and assault on Ein al-Fijeh, a rebel-held town 15 km northwest of Damascus in the Wadi Barada area.

Ein al-Fijeh is home to the main spring that provides drinking water both to the capital and the rebel-controlled suburbs.

The truce stipulates the regime immediately cease the siege of the Wadi Barada area, release female prisoners being held in regime prisons in the area and allow the entrance of humanitarian aid and fuel into Wadi Barada, according to the Wadi Barada Villages LCC.

The pro-regime Letters from Inside Adra Industrial Facebook page reported that water began to flow again to houses in the capital Wednesday morning.

“But the situation is not secure, and could become critical at any moment.”

Regime airstrikes kill 90 in A-Raqqa

The regime launched 10 airstrikes against the Islamic State-controlled city of A-Raqqa Tuesday, reportedly killing over 90 people in an especially bloody series of attacks, said the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Other reports indicate that the death toll may be even higher. The Raqqa-based pro-opposition news campaign Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently said that at least 115 had been killed, with many others seriously injured.

The casuality count reached as high as 170, the majority of them civilians, according to Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya.

Activists say that the city’s hospitals were overwhelmed with the wounded.

The strikes targeted a number of areas in the middle of the city and its outskirts, including an industrial area in the north and a mosque.

Syrian official media did not comment on the strikes.

RaqqaDestruction Regime airstrikes hit A-Raqqa on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of RMC.

Nusra stymies regime in Daraa

Jabhat a-Nusra and other rebel groups drove back a regime advance inside the city of Sheikh Miskeen in the northern Daraa countryside Tuesday, killing dozens of Syrian army soldiers, reported pro-opposition Syria Mubasher.

Army forces began the attack from the regime-controlled eastern neighborhood in the city.

Rebels captured the majority of Sheikh Miskeen last week, located near the Damascus-Daraa highway, cutting off regime supply routes to Daraa city and its vicinity, a development which “the Syrian cannot accept,” reported pro-regime al-Akhbar news Tuesday.

“The army will not stop the battle before securing supply routes for its forces,” unnamed military sources were quoted by al-Akhbar as saying.

Pro-regime newspaper al-Watan reported that Syrian army forces killed the leader of the Ansar a-Shariah brigade, Sami a-Safadi, in Sheikh Miskeen Tuesday.

Increase in state budget for ‘reconstruction’

The Syrian Parliament approved of the government’s annual budget for 2015 at 1,554 billion Syrian pounds [$9.1 billion] on Tuesday, an increase of 164 billion Syrian pounds [$962 million] from 2014, reported state-affiliated news SANA.

The budget included 50 billion Syrian pounds [$293 million] “for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of public facilities, and repairing damage to facilities, especially as a result of the current situation.”

Syria’s economy currently faces a crisis as a result of issues such as the sharp devaluation of its currency, the closure of many of its industrial areas and heavy economic sanctions from the international community.

In addition, the government has lost access to oil and gas wells in the northern and eastern parts of the country.

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