Syrian regime breaks two-year truce following Moadamiyeh gas attack

Syrian regime breaks two-year truce following Moadamiyeh gas attack
The Syrian regime's latest attack using internationally prohibited weapons in the Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh has broken a two-year truce with opposition forces.
2 min read
24 December, 2015
The gas attack on Moadamiyeh has ended a two-year truce [Anadolu]

The Syrian regime continues to break a truce held with opposition forces in the Damascus suburb of Moadamiyeh two years ago.

In the most recent violation of the truce, the regime forces targeted the town with internationally prohibited weapons, according the Civil Defence Crew in the southern quarter of the town.

Local activist Firas al-Doumi told The New Arab that regime helicopters dropped the barrel bombs containing poisonous gas on the besieged Damascus suburb on Tuesday evening.

At least ten civilians, including women and children, have died of asphyxiation and bleeding from the lungs according to the initial reports of the town's medical clinic.

Thirty others have been wounded in the attack.

According to local activist Mohamed Nour, around 40,000 local residents have returned to their homes in Moadamiyeh since the truce.

"Since the beginning of the truce, the regime has closed the main crossing for extended periods of time to ensure the depletion of all stored food," he said.

"The regime is currently deploying its forces to storm the southern part of Moadamiyeh, in order to isolate it completely from Daria."

Despite the attack, the regime has not announced the end of the truce yet.

The Moadamiyeh truce was the first of its kind, followed by a number of similar agreements in other areas, including Barza, Yelda, Beit Sahem, and Babila.

Moadamiyeh is a Free Syrian Army stronghold that is surrounded by areas under regime control and has been under regime siege for over two years.

Escalation in Qamishli

Meanwhile in the northeastern city of Qamishli, part of the Hassakeh province, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) launched an arrest campaign on Wednesday as part of a week-long escalation, according to local activist Abu Jad al-Hassakawi.

The recent escalation began when both the regime and the Kurdish forces launched arbitrary arrest campaigns, before clashes erupted between the YPG and the regime's national defence militas, leaving two regime fighters dead.

According to Hassakawi, both parties are aiming to increase their fighters by arming and recruiting people, which had happened before following clashes between the two sides.

As a result, local activists have warned young men aged 18 to 35 against leaving their homes in fear of arrest and forced recruitment.