The military campaign led by the Syrian regime and militias loyal to it on the besieged area of Barada Valley enters its third week today. Violent clashes between the regime’s forces and armed opposition groups are taking place on several fronts, and the most violent clashes are taking place on the fronts of Basima and Al-Husainiya.
The clashes coincided with intense air strikes and very violent bombing carried out by the regime on the towns of Ain Al-Fijah and Basima and on the Deir Muqrin and Kafir Al-Zayt fronts. Assad’s regime has also sent reinforcements to its surrounding positions in the area in preparation for a possible attack. The negative consequences of this blockade have begun to show through the spread of diseases among civilians caused by water cuts and a lack of sustenance inside the besieged villages.
The military escalation comes in the wake of the failure of the first phase of negotiations that aimed to hold reconciliation workshops in Ain Al-Fijah’s water source and repair what was damaged so that water could be pumped to Damascus again. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the talks “during the first phase concentrated on the withdrawal of fighters from the spring, pumping stations and its environs and raising the flags of the regime over them even if the regime’s forces do not control them militarily. They also concentrated on ensuring that the water supplies are controlled and watched over by a neutral party close to the regime.”