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NOW

Russia strikes displace over
150,000 in Daraa: rebel media

All4Syria reported that over 1,000 Russian airstrikes have rocked the southern Syrian province.

Russian raid. (YouTube/Yaqeen Media Foundation)

BEIRUT – Intense Russian bombardment on behalf of advancing regime forces in the Daraa province has forced the displacement of over 150,000 residents, according to a pro-rebel media outlet.

 

All4Syria reported Wednesday morning that activists documented over 1,000 Russian airstrikes targeting the province’s rebel-held population centers in the month of January 2016, when pro-regime forces successfully pressed into the town of Al-Sheikh al-Maskeen.

 

“Around 150,000 of the province’s inhabitants have been forces to leave their homes, and the main reason is the Russian aggression,” local activist Hani al-Omari told All4Syria.

 

He claimed that most of the civilians fleeing the air strikes had only returned to their homes following rebel advances in the Daraa province in the spring and summer of 2015.

 

“Over 140,000 people from the province returned to their homes after the rebels' achievements and their capture of a number of towns and villages.”

 

Omari specified that residents of the province’s Al-Sheikh al-Maskeen, Nawa, Ibtaa, Dael, Al-Ghariya al-Gharbiya, Al-Ghariya al-Sharqiya, Alma and Al-Soura. Have all left their hometowns.

 

Another activist, Mohammad al-Hariri, said that the wave of displacement has come amid a cold snap that has limited the number of suitable places to receive large numbers of displaced people.

 

“Since most of the displaced people are from the big towns and their numbers are huge it is difficult for small settlements in the province to absorb them,” he told All4Syria.


Russia began bombing targets in southern Syria for the first time in late October 2015, a month after Moscow began its aerial intervention on behalf of the Bashar al-Assad regime.

 

NOW’s English news desk editor Albin Szakola (@AlbinSzakola) wrote this report. Ullin Hope translated the Arabic-language source material.

Smoke rises over Al-Sheikh al-Maskeen following a Russian air raid. (YouTube/Yaqeen Media Foundation)

Since most of the displaced people are from the big towns and their numbers are huge it is difficult for small settlements in the province to absorb them.