Thursday, September 11, 2014

Panic in Jaramana

The frontline in the suburbs of Damascus is coming closer to Jaramana, which is inhabited by a large number of Druze and Christians. The city had in 2009 around 190.000 inhabitants but the actual number must be way higher since many refugees live there. The city was also home to a sizeable number of mainly Christian refugees from Iraq but I don't know if they are still there. According to opposition site All4Syria many Druze have fled from Jaramana to still relatively safe Suwaida. 

A translated version of the All4Syria article can be found at The Syrian Observer:
The events of the night of Saturday, 6 September in Dweilaa, Kashkool and Jaramana, in Damascus, when opposition fighters entered the Dukhania neighborhood, were traumatic for all who witnessed them.
 
Thousands of people fled their houses minutes after the attack begun, running through the streets of Kashkool, carrying all that they could to Dweilaa or Jaramana.
 
Upon arriving in Jaramana, panic spread among the people of the neighborhood and they too also left their homes, heading to Suweida in the south of the country. The people of Dweilaa started to leave their homes as soon as those fleeing Kashkool arrived, joining crowds of those escaping the scene, which lasted for more than two hours.
 
Assad troops and People Protection Committees then intervened to calm those fleeing the assault. Despite the messages of reassurance sent through mobile phones, and the arrival of military reinforcements, as well as direct TV broadcasts from Jaramana intended to calm people down, many residents of the neighborhood were seen carrying their luggage and heading to Damascus and further.(...)
In fact, half of the people of Dweilaa and Kashkool have left their homes, and some are still leaving to safer areas. The people of Jaramana escaped to Suweida, the relatively safe Druze area.
 
In order to calm down people and encourage them to stay, water and electricity were not cut from these neighborhoods during the night.

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