Barrier makes divided city official
The regime pounded Kiswah with artillery after rebels attacked its forces for building a barrier inside the city separating areas under its control from rebel-held districts, a local citizen journalist told Syria Direct Monday.
Regime forces hit Kiswah, which connects Daraa province with the west Damascus countryside, with artillery over the weekend. The city is also home to a hill on the southern side containing regime-held Scud missile batteries, said Abu Ahmed al-Kaswani, a citizen journalist in the town who requested anonymity.
Since the beginning of the war, Kiswah, 18km south of Damascus, has been split into two, with the regime controlling the south and the rebels in the north.
On Sunday, Syrian army soldiers began constructing a checkpoint separating the two sides, which prompted rebels to attack. Regime forces successfully completed the barrier’s construction and pounded the city with artillery and heavy machine guns, al-Kaswani, who was also quoted by UK-based al-Arabi al-Jadeed, told Syria Direct.
Fifteen people were killed and 100 wounded from the assault, “the majority civilians and children,” reported the pro-opposition United Media Office in West Ghouta.
Field hospitals in the area were unable to absorb the large number of injured, and dispatched some to nearby hospitals in East Ghouta, a local activist was quoted by pro-opposition All4Syria as saying.
Regime forces pound Kiswah. Photo courtesy of fbcdn.
Islamic State bombs Al-Hasakah church on Easter
The Islamic State bombed an Assyrian church on Sunday near the Kurdish-controlled town of Tel Tamar in Al-Hasakah province as the battle for control of northeast Syria with Kurdish People’s Protection Units [YPG] and regime forces, reported the Assyrian Network for Human Rights.
IS forces in the town of Tel Nasri “were in the church and blew up it up to prevent Kurdish militia fighters from entering,” an unnamed local source told the human rights organization.
The opposition National Coalition confirmed the IS’s bombing of the Assyrian church on Easter Sunday, calling it an “outrageous” attack and a “crime.”
The YPG-controlled town of Tel Tamar is situated between the provincial capital of Al-Hasakah and the contested border city of Ras al-Ain.
For more from Syria Direct, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.