Saturday, March 05, 2016

Yesterday, today (and hopefully tomorrow) in Aleppo, Syria

     I shouldn't even be posting these reports from my friend in Aleppo, Syria, because I surely wouldn't want him to get into trouble with the US, Turkey, ISIS and the Saudis -- just for telling the truth.  But.  I just can't resist because these are such excellent and authentic on-the-ground eye-witness reports.  My bad.

From today:

     The water situation:  "Water started to return to Aleppo city yesterday, after around two months of a lack of water supply to the city.  It was a deal between the Syrian government and Da'esh [derogatory term for ISIS], where each side was controlling the flow of water to the other side.  Da'esh in al-Bab village can't have water because their water lines comes from Aleppo city.  However, Aleppo water comes from the Euphrates which is under Da'esh control.  So they finally reached to a deal."

      The power situation:  "Red Crescent is helping with the power generators to pump the water as well, because there is no power in the city for five months.  We didn't have water yet at home, but other areas started to have it.

     "And electricity!  We're finally having power at home now for the first time in five months!  It came for one hour last midnight, and for an hour (so far) today at 6:00 am."

From yesterday:

     The ceasefire situation:  "On the 2nd of March, we thought that the ceasefire was over.  Heavy clashes started mid-day in Aleppo city and didn't end till evening.   First the government-held sides had been attacked several times by mortars, then the ambulance sirens were heard for some time, before hearing the first artillery retaliation from government side.  Then it developed to hear some airstrikes later on.

     "What happened?

     "According to news and other witnesses, the fighting was at Castillo junction village, to the north of Aleppo city.  That village and axis were the last smuggling arms way to the [ISIS] terrorists, coming from Turkey.  The clashes were between the YPG Kurds vs. The Nusra Front [al Qaeda] and other armed gangs.  The aftermath of the fight ended by liberating that northern village, and therefore the [ISIS] terrorists in the city are surrounded and have no supply anymore from the Turks.

     "The 'rebel' activists said that the Kurds started the fight and violated the ceasefire to help the Syrian 'regime' in besieging the 'rebels'.  But the YPG sources said that what happened was the opposite.  'First, neither the Nusra Front or Chechen fighters had signed nor agreed on the ceasefire agreement, so the fight with them never stopped,' said the YPG [Kurd] source.  'We didn't start the fight. They started targeting Sheikh Maqsoud district -- the northern one in Aleppo city under the Kurds control -- with nonstop mortar shelling, and they tried to occupy al-Mesherfé Hill, coming from the Castello village.  So we were defending our areas'.

     "It seems that the Syrian Arab Army had backed the YPG and together they made the terrorists under siege now.

      "The Russians recorded five violations to the ceasefire agreement in Aleppo the next day (yesterday) from the Nusra-held areas against the YPG in Sheikh Maqsoud district. Other sources mentioned casualties of two killed civilians and 25 injured ones.

     "However, yesterday was in general a calm day.  Funny jokes started to pop up amid all the merciless fighting, saying that people who used to sleep on despite the bombs, shelling and shooting noises each night for such a long time, are now having difficulties in sleeping in the calm atmosphere of the ceasefire agreement 😃!