„Hundreds of civilians and rebel fighters abandoned the Damascus suburb of Daraya on Friday, boarding buses after a negotiated surrender that ended one of the longest sieges of the Syrian war and marked the latest victory in the Assad regime’s surrender-or-starve military campaign. International observers voiced fears of another Srebrenica, the July 1995 massacre where Serbs captured the east Bosnian enclave after a three-year siege and then executed 8,000 captive Muslim men and boys.
There was no international supervision nor support for the operation, and armed Shabiha, the regime’s ill-trained militias, boarded each bus as it left the devastated city. Live shots broadcast by a Beirut TV channel showed the buses crawling through crowds of cheering Shabiha, but no interviews with evacuees.
Relatives said townspeople felt abandoned by the world, despondent to be leaving their homes and deeply fearful as they proceeded to an unknown fate. (…)
Valerie Szybala, executive director at the Syria Institute, a nonprofit research group, feared the arrest of evacuees, forced military conscription, relocation to other besieged areas and the denial of the right of residents to return to their homes. ‚You know the situation is bad when you hope that it is just ethnic cleansing, and that the population will be safely moved elsewhere instead of killed, arrested, and abused, as we have seen in past forcible surrender situations,‘ Szybala told The Daily Beast. (…)
The Syria Institute’s Szybala was withering in her criticism of the supranational body. ‚The UN took no action to protect civilians from this fallout,‘ she said. ‚Their efforts began and ended with that insufficient aid convoy in June. This is the epitome of negligence.‘ (…)
Since January 2014, when the Assad regime began attacking opposition held areas with barrel bombs – old barrels filled with shrapnel and explosives – its helicopters dropped 8,940 on Daraya, according to city statistics. From July 1 to Aug. 16, 886 bombs or shells targeted the city, more than double the number of the preceding four months, according to Western humanitarian aid officials.
All the vital structures for the survival of the population were targeted – houses, roads, mosques, water networks, and electricity facilities – but the crowning blows came during August, when the regime deliberately targeted the city’s food supply and attempted to burn major facilities with incendiary bombs.“
(Roy Gutman warnt auf The Daily Beast vor den möglichen Folgen des Assad-Sieges in Daraya: „Syria’s Srebrenica? The Assad regime’s ‚evacuation‘ of 6,000 civilians from a Damascus suburb could lead to a mass atrocity“.)