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Residents of Daraya call for a truce after intense attacks by Syrian government forces
Despite the violence, teachers hope to run first exams in four years
13 July, 2016
ٍSince July 6th, the Syrian government has been conducting an intensive aerial and land operation against the besieged town of Daraya, outside Damascus. Residents fear it is as an attempt to capture the opposition-held town where around 8,000 people have been trapped by government forces for more than four years.
Farmlands which are the main source of food for the residents under siege have been captured by government forces, worsening an already critical humanitarian situation.
Many civilians inside the town, including prominent women’s groups, are calling for a truce. Despite the raging violence, teachers are still hoping to run official exams today for the first time in four years.
“We have taken shelter in the basement carrying what very little food supplies we have left. we need peace and a truce” Iman 37, a mother of three.
“No one is ready to offer Daraya a truce. It is because we remained committed to the ideals of the revolution. There is no Isis or extremist groups inside Daraya. The Syria we represent – one free from Assad and Isis – is exactly what the regime wants to crush. Our corner of a Free Syria is the biggest threat to the regime.” Ahmad 25, a representative for the local council of Daraya.
“For the first time in four years, teenage boys and girls can sit official exams in Daraya. We are committed to education. No matter how difficult it is we will do it, all plans are in place. We have prepared a basement as the examination hall and we are going to start today.” Sawsan a teacher that runs an underground school in Darya.
“Daraya was one of the centres of the peaceful uprising in Syria. It has now been under siege for four years and it looks like the Syrian regime is determined to wipe Daraya and what it represents from the map. If the international community really believes in a future Syria beyond dictatorship and extremism, they should protect it in Daraya.” Laila Kiki from The Syria Campaign
NOTES TO EDITORS
– 748 barrel bombs were dropped on Daraya in June 2016. (source: Daraya Local Council)
– There is one field hospital in Daraya catering for 8,500 people with very minimal supplies of medicine. 600 babies under two years old have not received routine childhood vaccinations (source: Daraya Local Council)
– In April this year, the women of Daraya called the world for support saying they are on the verge of witnessing death by starvation. For more details: https://diary.thesyriacampaign.org/an-urgent-call-from-the-women-of-the-besieged-town-of-daraya/
– More on Daraya from The Syria Campaign:
The Syria Campaign was established in 2014 as an independent advocacy group to focus on the protection of civilians in Syria. To maintain its impartiality, The Syria Campaign accepts no funding from governments or any group involved in the conflict https://thesyriacampaign.org