Regime artillery bombards besieged city in preparation for ground assault after blocking UN aid convoy from entering the Damascus suburb
Assad Forces Breach “Truce” Commence Assault on Daraya
Assad’s forces and allied militias launched a new attack to storm the city of Daraya, preceded by a barrage of artillery fire since Saturday, May 14, in a violation of the truce agreed at the end of February.
Enab Baladi’s correspondent in Daraya said that a military mobilization composed of infantry, two tanks and a minesweeper was trying to advance along the city’s southern front, amid intense fire from mortars, heavy artillery and “elephant”-type suface-surface missiles, coming from the bases of Assad’s forces in the surrounding mountains.
The local council in the city said that 27 artillery shells had struck residential areas by 3:00 pm, as reconnaissance planes flew overhead.
The official spokesman for the opposition Shuhada Islam brigade, Saraya Abu Obeida, told Enab Baladi that the western front had witnessed the mobilization of equipment and fighters toward the city since Saturday, and that another mobilization had moved toward the south-western front.
Abu Obeida denied reports by regime media that the Free Syrian Army had violated the truce in Daraya, and that the bombardment was a response to that, saying the city’s factions had abided by the agreement to “stop hostile actions.” He added that they would deal with any breach by Assad’s forces and allied militias.
Regime checkpoints prevented the entry of medical aid to Daraya on Thursday, and its local council said that the UN mission was forced to end its effort after the regime decisively refused to let in medicines and vaccines, intending to hinder the mission’s work, while civilian casualties were caused by artillery shelling on the same day.
Helicopter aircraft meanwhile hit the town of Basri al-Sham in Daraya with barrel bombs on Saturday, May 14, the first time barrel bombs have been dropped on the town since the start of the truce.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.
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