Water, fuel still precious in besieged Damascus suburbs


August 19, 2014

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EYE OF THE STORM: Water is a major concern for residents of the rebel-held Damascus suburbs of East Ghouta as the area comes under heavy fire following the regime’s capture of Mleiha last week.

“There is no electricity to operate the pumps to supply houses with water,” Hassan Taqi al-Din, a Ghouta-based correspondent for the pro-opposition news agency Sham Network for Syria.

“With the rise of the price of fuel, it is also not possible to run the generators [to operate the pumps],” al-Din told Syria Direct Tuesday.

Mleiha, the gateway into East Ghouta, was taken back by the regime after months of fighting. The Ghouta town is considered strategically important both because of its location between Damascus and East Ghouta and because it is situated on a hill overlooking the main highway leading to the International Damascus Airport.

Earlier this month, rebels had broken the regime siege and boasted that they would soon liberate the rest of the town. An intense regime bombing campaign shortly afterwards not only stopped the rebel advancement, but also pushed a majority of them out of the area.

After the rebels fled Mleiha to the nearby towns of Ain Tuma and Jisreen in East Ghouta, the regime bombed the two areas Sunday, apparently seeking to push the rebels out even further.

-August 19, 2014

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