Thousands of Syrians on Friday took to the streets of many towns and villages in the liberated areas to show solidarity with Dier Ezzor city. The demonstrations, held under the theme, “Deir Ezzor: on both sides of death,” were aimed to highlight the enormous suffering residents of the city are subjected to as a result of the siege and criminal practices by the Assad regime and the ISIS extremist group.
The biggest demonstrations were held in the towns of Maaret Alnouman, Kafar Deriyan, Sarmada, and Turmanin in rural Idlib, as well as in the towns of Douma, Hammouriya, and Arbin in Rural Damascus and in the town of Atareb in western rural Aleppo.
Deir Ezzor city has been subjected to two-fold siege by regime forces and ISIS for over two years. Regime forces prevent civilians in the parts under their control, namely the neighborhoods of Jura, Qusour, and Harabish from leaving. ISIS, on the other hand, prevents the introduction of basics to these parts of the city.
In addition to suffering resulting from the siege, residents in the city are caught in the middle of mutual shelling by regime forces and the ISIS extremist group. Russian and Assad regime jets bomb ISIS-held areas, while ISIS responds by shelling the regime-held parts of the city.
Earlier this week, the United Nations announced it was suspending airdrops of humanitarian aid to civilians trapped in the regime-held neighborhoods due to the intensified fighting. This decision further increased the suffering of civilians amid severe shortages of food.
Civic institutions and activists in Deir Ezzor last week called upon the UN Security Council to protect civilians and spare them the airstrikes targeting ISIS, especially after the adoption of UNSCR 2336 putting in place a Russian and Turkish-backed ceasefire agreement. They stressed that the presence of ISIS in these two provinces must not justify attacks on civilians or consider them a social base for the ISIS extremist group. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)