3 min read  | Damascus, Deir e-Zor, Politics

Syria Direct: News Update 11-6-14


November 6, 2014

Islamic State allows a-Shaitat to return home as subjects

An Islamic State (IS) commander in Deir e-Zor has allowed the a-Shaitat tribe to return to their homes on the order of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, according to an audio recording circulated Wednesday by local media campaign Deir e-Zor Under Fire.

IS executed more than 700 members of the a-Shaitat—primarily civilians—in August and expelled them from their homes in eastern Deir e-Zor after the tribe rebelled against IS rule, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The a-Shaitat reportedly face strict conditions if they wish to return.

Gatherings and protests are forbidden, and members must hand over weapons and abide by a curfew from eight at night to five in the morning for two months, reported pro-opposition daily Zaman alWasl.

Returning Shaitat members, or the “penitent” as IS has termed them, must confess that fellow tribesmen who fought IS are “apostates.”

Syrian army attacks camp to get to Douma

The Syrian army attacked the Wafidin camp in rebel-held East Ghouta, closing the last supply route into the besieged Outer Damascus area in a bid to capture the opposition town of Douma, reported pro-regime newspaper Al-Watan reported Thursday.

Wafidin is located about 4 km northeast of Douma and sits on the key M5 highway.

 “The Syrian Arab Army began the operation to advance towards Douma on Wednesday, the stronghold of Jaysh al-Islam, in East Damascus,” Al-Watan reported.

Douma is considered the epicenter of rebel activity in Outer Damascus and is ruled by a collection of local, FSA-affiliated fighters and Islamist battalions, the most prominent of which is Jaysh al-Islam. The area has been under siege for over two years.

Opposition sources confirmed the fighting in the camp for displaced Syrians, adding that the closure of the supply route was already driving up the prices of basic goods in East Ghouta.

“The only entrance in East Ghouta, Wafidin camp, has been completely closed, preventing cars, humanitarian organizations and vaccines from entering or leaving,” said Douma-based media activist Abdul Rahman over Facebook on Wednesday.

“Prices have increased ten times their normal price.”

Regime strikes school in Damascus neighborhood

Regime forces struck a primary school with mortars in the rebel-held Qabon neighborhood in northeast Damascus Wednesday, killing 13 children in what residents are calling a massacre despite a truce signed between Qabon rebels and the regime July of this year, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

A video of the attack’s aftermath circulated widely on social media Wednesday, as well as photos of the childrens’ burial.

The neighborhood of Qabon is located between rebel and regime-held areas in Damascus and its outskirts, which has made it prone to regime bombing.

Syrian official news outlets did not comment on the attack.

In related news, the Syrian Network for Human Rights has documented 30 massacres across Syria in October, including 26 at the hands of the regime, in a report released Wednesday.

The massacres resulted in the deaths of 393 individuals, 54 percent of whom were women and children, the report said.

QabonFuneralLocals bury the victims of a primary school attack on Wednesday . Photo courtesy of Qabon National Defense

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