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Government Blackout on Markets’ Fires in Damascus | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A fire in Al-Asrounieh Market in Old Damascus. Asharq Al-Awsat Arabic

Damascus- Once again, fires are swallowing up archaeological sites in Old Damascus amidst authorities’ discretion towards the real causes and with accusation against Iran of causing the fires to seize the region, with the complicity of the regime.

The last fire, believed not to be the least, flared up at the evening of October 1 in Al-Asrounieh Market, meters away from the Umayyad Mosque from the south-east, Al-Hamidiyah Souq from the north while the Citadel of Damascus lays at the south and Al-Manakhlia Market at the west.

As reported in a social network, the news was restricted to the following: Fire flares up in Al-Asrounieh Market in Old Damascus for an anonymous reason, and there are no casualties.

This market, which includes hundreds of stores and is considered a vital market in Damascus, is specialized in selling necessities of kitchens and women from perfumes, makeup, and kids’ toys. Its name attributes to the historian Ibn Abi Asroun while other historians say its name goes back to the fact that the market always becomes busy in the “afternoon” which is equivalent to the Arabic word “aser”.

Since the beginning of the war, towns and markets of Old Damascus have been witnessing a widespread of militias that are supported by Iran under the pretext of defending shrines.

Despite the reservation of the majority of stores’ owners towards the new fire out of security fears, someone stood out and revealed what he knows to Asharq Al-Awsat: “It is certain that the fire is intentional by pro-Iran individuals to lay their hands on the economic center of Damascus. How did this fire occur with all the widespread of Iranian militias and security members? Why don’t they interfere when there are fires?”

This fire is the third of its kind after the last one that took black back in December which burned 10 stores and two warehouses. Back then, stores’ owners affirmed that militants made up a fire on Thursday, followed by another one on Friday.

Regime forces claimed that the reason was a short circuit.