Al-Joura and Al-Qosour between the Hammer and the Anvil
Deir Az-Zour province is recognized as one of the most notable Syrian provinces that participated in the popular demonstrations against the ruling authorities, and the numbers of participant on a Friday has reached 400,000 according to statistics. After government forces lost control over wide areas of it by the end of 2013, government forces targeted the city almost daily with airstrikes and caused the destruction of almost quarter of its buildings, and the second half of the year 2014, ISIS heavily attacked the armed opposition, as ISIS killed 1152 armed opposition gunmen, as Deir Az-Zour is considered the province that suffered the most killings of its armed men by ISIS.
Choices seem to be limited right now in front of civilians from the province, between living under the tyranny and suppression and exposure to looting, arrests and torture by government forces, and also living under siege imposed by ISIS, or living in areas controlled by ISIS where extreme laws are enforced in addition to intimidation, detention and government forces airstrikes’ bombing.
In mid-January 2015, ISIS imposed a siege on Al-Joura and Al-Qosour neighborhoods in Deir Az-Zour, in order to clamp down these two neighborhoods controlled by government forces.
By the beginning of February 2015, ISIS tightened up the siege more and closed all the roads and crossings, which increased the suffering of a population of 277,000 living in these neighborhoods, most of them are displaced from other neighborhoods controlled by ISIS.
In the beginning of March the livelihood situation started dropping badly after running out of food and supplies, especially after the government forces closed the international road between Damascus and Deir Az-Zour and that is the only road that supplies the city with food, medicine, and building materials, as government forces also prevented the families from leaving to areas controlled by ISIS, which made the situation even worse.