Activists said that at least 11 people were killed and dozens more wounded in attacks by the Assad regime forces and their allied Iranian militias on rebel-held areas on Friday. The victims included 8 civilians who were killed in regime airstrikes in Idlib province despite the ceasefire agreement which was announced on December 29, 2016.
According to figures compiled by the Syrian Coalition’s media office, regime forces and their allies breached the truce in at least 40 areas across Syria on Friday, mostly in Rural Damascus and Idlib provinces. Friday prayers were cancelled in the towns of Madaya in Rural Damascus as well as many towns and villages across Syria for fear of airstrikes by the Assad regime and the Russian forces.
Many towns and villages in rebel-held areas in the provinces of Rural Damascus, Idlib, Aleppo, and Homs witnessed anti-regime demonstrations in which the Syrian people renewed commitment to the goals of the revolution and called for the downfall of the Assad regime. Demonstrators also called upon the FSA and rebel groups to unite “under the umbrella of the revolution.”
Demonstrators in the besieged towns of Douma, Saqba, and Kanaker in Rural Damascus reiterated rejection of the so-called local truces with the Assad regime so long as its assault on Wadi Barada valley continues.
Multiple airstrikes as well as shelling by mortar, tanks, heavy machine guns, and rockets by regime forces air hit the villages of Bseima and Ayn Alija in Wadi Barada valley in the early morning hours of Saturday. The bombardment caused massive damage to what remained of civilian homes and infrastructure.
Local activists said that the bombardment coincided with the entry of technicians to the area to repair Ayn Alfija water facility which was damaged by regime airstrikes in late December.
The Syrian Coalition condemned the continued breaches of the truce by the Assad regime and its allies, especially in Wadi Barada valley. It called on the UN Security Council and guarantors of the ceasefire agreement to put an immediate end to these breaches and hold the perpetrators to account. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office + Agencies)