A huge fire broke out Friday morning in the Qanawat district of the capital Damascus, causing damage to civilian property, shops, and buildings.
Activists in Damascus accused the Iranian-backed foreign militias of arson as shop owners in the area refused to sell out their shops and homes to the Iranians. The Assad regime blamed an “electrical fault” for the fire as was the case in previous fires that have engulfed shops in the Old City over the past five years.
In addition to the mass forced displacement operations against residents of the besieged areas, the Assad regime and its Iranian allies are seeking to seize shops and buildings in Damascus to tighten their grip on the capital changing the demographic landscape in Damascus and its suburbs.
The suburbs of Daraya and Qudsaya as well as the Wadi Barada valley were emptied of their indigenous populations following brutal assaults and sieges by regime forces and their allied foreign militias.
Local residents in Damascus were adamant regime forces and their allies were behind the fires that previously erupted in the Old City in central Damascus.
On April 23, 2016, a huge fire engulfed about 70 shops in the Asruniyah market of Old Damascus, a UNESCO world heritage site. At least 13 more shops were also burned in a fire that broke out in the famed Hamidiyah souk in central Damascus on December 2, 2016. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)