The inhabitants of the Christian suburbs in the Syrian capital express their desperation at the constant attacks upon them. According to a report sent to the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need by Caritas International, the situation in the Syrian capital is critical, with people scarcely daring to emerge from their homes. “Since February 5 and up till now, more than 200 mortar shells have hit Damascus’ eastern neighborhoods, causing more than 28 killed and 90 injured”, the Caritas report reveals.
In its report, Caritas lamented the fact that the media are “unfortunately neglecting a part of the Syrian story”, pointing out that “most of the news reports were focusing on the Russian and Syrian airstrikes on Eastern Ghouta and the humanitarian situation there, the casualties and needs, but we hardly found anyone talking about the situation inside Damascus, which has been under attack from mortar shells since the beginning of 2018“.
“Certain Damascus neighborhoods have witnessed repeated mortar attacks and shelling since January 22nd, especially the Bab Touma, Abbassyin, Kassaa, Koussour and Jaramana neighborhoods”. The eastern suburbs of Damascus are where the main Christian area is located, along with the majority of the Caritas offices and the convents and monasteries of the city.
The Eastern Ghouta is dominated by the Islamist faction Jaysh al-Islam. But Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadist alliance led by al-Qaeda’s former affiliate in Syria, also has a presence there, according to the BBC.