The Massacre of Darayya in Damascus suburbs
Darayya is located in Damascus suburbs about eight kilometers to the west of the capital Damascus. The city is near Al Mazza neighborhood in Damascus and Mua’damiyet Al Sham city. Darayya is the largest city in Western Ghouta.
On the second day of Eid Al Fetr, when Muslims around the world were celebrating this cherished occasion, the Syrian government began its military campaign on Monday 20 August 2012 after it cut off power and all means of communication throughout the whole city that went into darkness before the Syrian army forces bombed the western part of the city with tens of mortar shells particularly Fashoukh area which separates Darayaa from Mua’damiyet Al Sham. A number of houses were destroyed and many were wounded as the bombardment forced the residents of Fashoukh area to flee to the middle of the city.
On Tuesday 21 August 2012, Syrian army forces blocked all main and secondary points of entry into the city with military checkpoints in addition to 30 tanks that were spread over the international road leading to Daraa city and near Sahnaya bridge and, hence, impeded anyone to come in or out from the city which was noticed by the residents of the neighboring areas such as Kafr Sousa, Al Lawwan, and Al Qadam neighborhoods in the capital Damascus. This was in synchronization with a bombing by the Syrian army in the middle of the Darayya city which resulted in a number of injuries.
This was followed by an attempt by the Syrian army to advance into the city from Al Kournish Al Jadid road. However, the Free Syrian Army tried to block then which led to intensified clashes between the two that resulted in causalities and injured on both side. SNHR is not able to document military victim from either sides in light of the difficulties and the Syrian regime’s unwillingness to grant the Network any license to operate on Syrian lands even though most of the Network’s members are Syrians who live inside Syria.
The climax was in the morning of Wednesday 22 August 2012 at 7:00 AM as the Syrian regime escalated its bombing and used all kinds of heavy weaponry such as tanks shells and mortar shells in addition to helicopter missiles in an unimaginable attack that disregards any norms or rules of war and oversteps any humanitarian consideratoins. The bombardment resulted in a widespread destruction and tens of victims in addition to tens of injuries that saturated makeshift hospitals in light of a severe shortage in medical personnel because of the imposed siege on the city.