BY: Omar AL-muqdad
BY: Omar AL-muqdad
Morocco World News
Washington, July 15, 2013
Another level of the fight has emerged from the rebel side this time and here is the story:
On Thursday, Syria’s main opposition coalition condemned a rebel blockade of government-held districts in the contested northern city of Aleppo, issuing a rare statement of criticism against fighters who reportedly caused severe food shortages at the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Residents of the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood staged protests against the blockade by Islamic militant rebels, according to activists and a video posted to YouTube on Tuesday.
The blockade has created food shortages in their neighborhoods and pushed up prices just as Syrian Muslims begin the fasting month of Ramadan.
Another video posted by the Observatory showed that the siege policy has a variety of opponents among the opposition.
The checkpoint is the only link between rebel-held eastern districts of Aleppo and western districts controlled by the government. It was reportedly seized and closed several days ago by non-Syrian fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a merger of al-Qaida’s branches in Iraq and Syria.
Amateur video footage of the demonstration showed protesters demonstrating at a rebel checkpoint before rebel gunmen dispersed the crowd by firing shots in the air. At least one protester was shot and killed during the protests.
Aleppo suffering was tackled in a conference in Damascus. The conferees called on ending all the sieges in Aleppo and in other Syrian cities.
Rebels say their immediate aim is to cut off supplies from government troops, but it appears the blockade is also part of a broader strategy aimed at weakening support for the government and pressuring civilians in government-held areas to leave. If the western part of Aleppo, now home to two million Syrians, becomes empty of civilians, a ground assault by rebels would be easier to carry out and more morally defensible, rebels argue.
Recently, a woman was trying to cross back into the government-controlled part of the city when she was stopped at a rebel checkpoint. Fighters refused to let her cross with the prize she had come for: bags of fruits, vegetables and medicine, hard to find near her home on the other side.
They have sought to block the entry of medicine and food to regime-held parts of Aleppo for some time, but in recent days they have succeeded in blockading the districts completely after cutting off regime access to the area by blowing up a bridge and blocking a key road
Meanwhile the civilians, as usual, seem subjected to pay the high price of fight. It’s becoming clearer to them that freedom and building and designing a better future for them and their children is no longer their main priority in life.