first published on April 28, 2018 by Josh
The Yarmouk district of Damascus, which was once home to almost a quarter million people, has been under siege by the Syrian Arab Army since 2013. In the past few weeks, violence in the area has come to a peak as members of the Syrian Arab Army have finally started to conduct a full-scale military operation to clear out the district of HTS and ISIS fighters. Since this operation began on April 19, 2018 it has since spread to areas surrounding the Yarmouk district of Damascus, with the Syrian Arab Army citing that they have come into contact with enemy forces in these neighboring districts. Some early estimates put the destruction inside of the Yarmouk district at close to 60% of the entire area.
While the fighting has intensified, the Syrian Arab Army has been accused of conducting an intense campaign of air raids, including more barrel bombs being dropped haphazardly into the area. Since Friday of last week, 31 civilians have been reported as killed due to the direct action of Syrian Arab Army military forces according to the UK-based Action Group for Palestinians of Syria. The same group also stated that the Yarmouk area was being targeted by two air raids every 90 seconds for the duration of the entire operation, which has forced many of the civilians living in the area to flee in an attempt to preserve their own lives from the careless actions of regime forces.
The footage coming out of the district, that was released by a soldier in the Syrian Arab Army, attempts to paint the regime in a positive light as they carry out their operations against the extremist groups of HTS and ISIS. A montage of war is sliced together by the soldier, and edited with heroic music making the SAA look as if they are the real champions of peace in Syria, and their operation there is the cure for the cancer of Islamic Extremism in the region. When you look a little closer into the footage however, what you see is exactly what is being painted by the activists groups. Carelessness, and the improper use of weapon systems which causes them to create massive amounts of collateral damage is present everywhere.
At one point in this video, barrel bombs can visibly be seen being pushed out of the back of a helicopter. These are not guided by anything except the forces of gravity. When the bombs hit the ground, they will explode and kill or wound indiscriminately. At the same time, troops can be seen firing a mine clearance charge over the top of a group of buildings, and detonating the device to drop all of the buildings that the charge lands on top of. When you see this video, it makes you wonder what exactly is going on in the Syrian Arab Army commander’s brain housing groups when they conduct operations like this one. Why is caution thrown to the wind, and collateral damage or civilian casualties allowed to become a symptom of their success?