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Footage of some of the 500 civilians evacuated from Moadamiyyat Ash Sham on Tuesday morning
The Local Council of the besieged town of Moadamiyyat Ash Sham, near Damascus, has called on the opposition Syrian National Coalition, the United Nations, and the countries in the Friends of Syria group to ensure the safety of civilians leaving the city on Tuesday.
The Council said an evacuation is being arranged through the Syrian Red Crescent, Red Cross, and a nun, Mother Fadia Lahaam.
The Syrian Red Crescent later said that it had evacuated 2,000 civilians from Moadamiyyat Ash Sham:
— Syrian Red Crescent (@SYRedCrescent) October 29, 2013
Activists reported that regime forces later separated out the men and boys from those evacuated for questioning. Sources inside Moadamiyyat Ash Sham have told EA that regime forces have questioned other male evacuees taken out of the town earlier this month, and that some of those taken for questioning are still reporting missing.
The evacuation of more than 1,000 civilians on October 12, to escape malnutrition and starvation from an 11-month siege, is still shrouded in controversy. The Council claims that regime opened fire on the evacuees, who included women and children, killing three and injuring dozens.
The Council also asserted that several children and several women were detained and abused by Syrian forces.
The Council said that it is “painfully aware of the risks” of the evacuation but has been forced to agree to it “as a result of the entire world’s desertion in the face of the city’s starving children and unfathomably awful humanitarian situation”.
The Council claims at least 11 people have already starved to death: “The residents are now faced with three choices: starve to death, be bombarded to bits by daily regime shelling or hand themselves to a regime which has yet to keep a single promise it has made since the start of the uprising over two years ago.”
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Local Groups Reconstruct Tafas After Its Fall To Insurgency
Footage from Monday shows local groups from Tafas in Dar’aa Province rebuilding local electricity pylons following the town’s fall to the insurgency on Sunday.
Civilian Deaths In Fierce Regime Offensive Against al-Wa’er Neighborhood Of Homs
Citizen journalists and activists on Tuesday report that regime forces are shelling the al-Wa’er neighborhood in the northwest of Homs city, with airstrikes, mortar and rocket bombardments amid ground offensives including by Hezbollah fighters.
The Shaam News Network reports that two children and a woman have been killed and several more civilians have been injured in the attacks so far on Tuesday.
Al-Wa’er is located near the ring-road in the north-west of the city. The neighborhood is extremely overcrowded with around 500,000 civilians, including many who fled regime bombardment of other parts of the city particularly Old Homs.
Footage of the shelling on Tuesday:
Activists report that civilians are being refused permission to leave al-Wa’er on Tuesday, and that both al-Wa’er and Homs Old City are effectively cordoned off and under total siege.
Warning: Women & children turned away from leaving Waer Homs by Assad thugs & Iraqi Shite mercenaries today. Shelling incessant #Syria
— Luisa Zangh (@LuisaZangh) October 29, 2013
Homs: Only city to ever have 2 extreme & deadly sieges? Waer & Old City now totally cordoned off & both subjected to heavy shelling #Syria
— Luisa Zangh (@LuisaZangh) October 29, 2013
After Fall Of Tafas, Regime Hits Dar’aa City, Border Towns
After insurgents from a coalition of Free Syrian Army and moderate Islamist groups took control of the Dar’aa town of Tafas at the weekend, following months of fierce fighting and heavy losses on both sides, the regime has stepped up its offensive against Dar’aa city and against other towns on its periphery and along the Syria-Jordan border region.
On Monday, regime shelling in al-Jeezah (click for map) east of Dar’aa city, causing a large fire:
On Tuesday, the regime continues to target Athman, north of Dar’aa city and south of Tafas. With the insurgents now controlling the road from Tafas-Muzayrib which joins route 119 into the north of Dar’aa city, the regime needs to protect route 5 heading north out of Dar’aa, from Athman-Dar’aa (click for map).
Air strikes on Athman on Tuesday morning:
The regime is also striking at-Taebah on the Syria-Jordan border.
The Local Coordination Committees claim 47 people were killed on Monday, including 14 in Damascus and its suburbs and 10 in Aleppo Province.
The Violations Documentation Center records that 76,968 people have been killed since the start of the conflict in March 2011, an increase of 61 since Monday. Of the dead, 57,216 are civilians, a rise of 44 from yesterday.