November 8, 2012

Destruction of the suburbs of eastern Damascus

This video, dated November 5, 2012, shows the damage to the al-Tadamun suburb in southeast Damascus from recent air strikes and artillery fire. The whole area east of the capital city, from Harasta in the north to areas near the Damascus International Airport in the south, have been pounded by MiG-23 fighter-bombers almost daily for the past three weeks.

Here is a gisted translation of the narrator's remarks:

"November 5, 2012 - the local coordination committee for the al-Tadamun district of Damascus.

"This is the 'Ali bin Abi Talib mosque in what remains of the al-Tadamun district. Where are you Arabs, where are you Muslims?

"There are clashes in the Hajar al-Aswad area, in Yalda, Babilah, and Bayt Sahim - there is thick smoke rising. This is your fault, Bashar [al-Asad].

"There are tracer rounds lighting up the skies of Babilah. There are clashes between the gangs of Bashar al-Asad and the heroes of the Free Syrian Army. These are your crimes, Bashar.

"We will not bow to anyone but God.

"Damascus, the al-Tadamun district, November 5, 2012 - God is great."

If you go to coordinates 33 28 33N 36 19 02E on a mapping program (like Google Earth), you will see the mosque. What is striking on the satellite imagery is the density of the residential and commercial buildings, in stark contrast to the scenes of absolute destruction on the video. For orientation, the cameraman is located to the southwest of the mosque.

It will take a long time to rebuild this section of the city, even longer to rebuild the lives of the residents.