Displaced Hasakah residents return to damaged neighborhoods
Residents began to return to two ravaged neighborhoods in Al-Hasakah city a week after Kurdish and regime forces recaptured the areas from IS fighters, with one resident telling Syria Direct Monday that his district is “uninhabitable.”
“East Neshwa is 60 percent destroyed; we’re talking total destruction,” said resident Abu Majed. “The stench of corpses is everywhere…I have now left the neighborhood again because my house is no longer there, also because of a fear of mines” left behind by IS, he added.
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units are allowing displaced residents of east Neshwa to return home, while west Neshwa residents are still awaiting permission, Islam al-Khafji, a citizen journalist, told Syria Direct Monday.
Al-Hasakah’s provincial capital was split between Kurdish and regime control before IS launched a surprise assault June 25, capturing several neighborhoods in the city’s south, including Neshwa. The YPG announced it had retaken most of the city July 20, reported pan-Arab Daily Al-Hayat that same day.
Regime retaliates after rebels capture Jobar water station
The Jobar district just east of Damascus witnessed heavy fighting on Monday, two days after rebels captured a nearby strategic water pumping station, the Syrian Press Center reported.
“The regime attacks are a response to the [Feilaq a-Rahman] rebels’ liberation of the water pumping station on the outskirts of the neighborhood on Saturday,” the director of the pro-opposition Jobar Media Office told Syria Direct on Monday.
Jobar is the closest point to government positions in the regime-controlled Bab Touma district of the Old City and al-Qassaa neighborhoods near central Damascus, the director said.
Rebels control about 80 percent of Jobar, with the regime holding territory outside it.
Civilian victims of an alleged chlorine gas attack in Jobar. Photo courtesy of al-Ghouta Now.
Following the capture of the pumping station on Saturday, rebels restored the water supply to Jobar and nearby areas, ending a months-long cutoff by regime forces, pro-opposition Zaman al-Wasl reported.
The latest battle began early Monday morning as regime forces targeted Jobar with more than 20 airstrikes alongside surface-to-surface missiles fired from outside the neighborhood and the surrounding area, pro-opposition Jobar News reported.
Opposition media also said that chlorine gas attacks in the neighborhood had led to dozens of cases of suffocation on Monday.
A Feilaq a-Rahman Twitter account published the names of three regime officers reportedly killed in the fighting on Monday, along with that of Wael al-Ajlani, a regime war correspondent whose death state news agency SANA confirmed.
In a separate announcement, rebel group Feilaq a-Rahman said they struck a regime warplane that later exploded as it returned to the nearby al-Khalkhalah military airbase in Suwayda on Monday.