Cursed Be Both Their Houses
"We woke up this morning to the sound of fierce battles. Every time there are battles, we flee and have to decide where to go. Sometimes we stay with relatives, sometimes with neighbours who fled before us."
"Most of my neighbours have shut and gone home, and I'll shut too in a bit. How can these people keep shelling, and how many people have they killed? May God punish the oppressor.""The Battle of Armageddon" hasn't gone too well. Imaginatively named, but undertaken by rebels who control the area east of the Damascus ring road, without taking the trouble to ensure that other rebel groups elsewhere in the city were in knowledge of what they were undertaking, so that a co-ordinated effort, which would surely be more productively efficient, could be undertaken.
Waleed, Damascus merchant
It's difficult to determine, really, whether that Damascus merchant, damning 'the oppressor', meant the rebels or the regime. They have each become damnable oppressors. In their zeal to outdo one another and survive to dominate and conquer the other, the civilian population has become an inchoate victim of violence, scattering in fear for their lives.
Rifle and rocket-propelled grenade launchers in hand, rebels collected in the north-western neighbourhood of Jobar, in Damascus, to attack army checkpoints with heavy-calibre machine-guns mounted on their pickup trucks. They are busily engaged in their own live video production. In another video intense gunfire is heard as local mosques broadcast "God is great", a battle cry.
Opposition fighters are busy blasting army checkpoints with anti-aircraft guns. The regime's forces are busy shelling the eastern and southern suburbs to repel each new insurgent effort to impact the civil war into the very heart of Syria's capital. The regime holds the centre of the capital; the rebels have possession of the suburbs.
And fleeing populations curse them both.