Day 22: Damascus Under Siege!
The Poverty Belt around Damascus explodes into deadly protests. Deraa shows support by going on strike.
Deadly overnight clashes in Mouaddamiyyah led to daytime protests and tearing down of Assad posters and chants of “The People Want To Topple the Regime.” Despite the conservative nature of Mouaddamiyyah, women participated in droves, often leading the chants.
Douma’s protests also witnessed significant participation by women, a trend said to be a new tactic that will from now on be employed by protesters.
The Damascene suburb of Harasta also witnessed large overnight protests.
Kafar Batna and Saqba also witnessed overnight protests leading to several fatalities, including among security officers, a development which also might denote the emergence of new trend: a tit-for-tat, or an eye for eye, just as the protesters in these two communities shouted.
The situation in Kafar Batna deteriorated fast in the afternoon when authorities refused to release the bodies of the fallen. Clashes ensued, prompting mourners in Douma to come to the aid of their neighbors, passing on their way in the suburbs of Harasta, Sqba and Irbeen and recruiting more protesters. We still have no words as to what have transpired since.
Damascus is now virtually besieged by rebellious suburbs: to the North Al-Tal, to the East Kafar Batna, Douma, Harasta and Saqba, to the West Mouaddamiyyah and to the South Kisweh. What has long been known as the Poverty Belt is now the Revolution Belt.
Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the Deraa City returned the favor and went on a general strike in solidarity with the people of Douma.
In Homs, a morning sit-in in Al-Bayadeh and Deir Baalba neighborhoods developed into a large funerary procession for a Female martyr that fell in earlier clashes. The inhabitants of the Talbiseh Town, south of Homs, also witnessedmajor protests as inhabitants took to the streets, as they have been doing every day since Friday. The town continues to be surrounded by armored vehicles and under de facto isolation.