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Air alert tested in Damascus

August 29, 2013, 17:58 UTC+3
However, no mass leave of Syrians for Lebanon reported
1 pages in this article
Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

Photo EPA/ITAR-TASS

CAIRO, August 29. (Itar-Tass). – Residents of the Syrian capital are stocking up on food in case of emergency that may come after possible air strikes.

“On the eve of off-day there are unusually many people at the markets. Long queues can be seen in front of bakeries. Flatbread is the fastest-selling item. People buy bread for future use,” a Syrian medic Ahmed that studied in Russia told Itar-Tass.

In several blocks of Damascus downtown the sound of test air alert was heard. The day before voluntary people’s guards put in order and equipped with all the things needed the bomb shelters and cleaned the underground accommodations.

Most concerned are residents of blocks located near security agencies’ headquarters in Kafar Sousah, south-western part of the city, near Al-Mezzah military airfield, General Staff buildings on the way to Omeyyades square and in Dumar, where the barracks of Republican Army 4th division are located.

In Muhajirin and Malki blocks not far from the presidential palace the situation remains quite calm, there is no panic among the residents. As reported by Syrian online media, the locals have seen the presidential couple several times in recent days. One of the feminine activists reported that Asma Assad is lately engaged in creating a museum for children in downtown.

Lebanese paper As-Safir reports quoting sources close to the Syrian president: Damascus recognizes that President Bashar Assad, keeping overall authority, may become one of the possible air strike targets in which will likely be used a drone aircraft. “Nobody believes in statements from the West that they allegedly do not intend to eliminate Assad and overthrow his regime,” the source notes.

Partial redeployment of contingent and military hardware is being conducted in Damascus suburbs. “Measures are taken to minimize possible losses in case of bombing,” military sources told Al-Jadeed TV channel.

According to Al Hayat newspaper, security of key institutions and political parties’ offices is enhanced. Additional concrete barriers were erected around them.

A letter of Damascus resident, an Iraqi that was witness to Baghdad bombings in 1991, 1998 and 2003 became a warning for Damascus locals. The message was posted in Facebook. “I address to everyone who lives near military institution, strategic objects and power stations. Remove yourself out of there for a while just in case. Keep in mind our experience: American missiles don’t have mercy on anyone,” the Iraqi wrote.

In neighboring Lebanon everything is ready for receiving a stream of refugees from Syria that may suddenly increase, according to the official representative of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees Rana Suleiman. However, she noted that there was no substantial influx of people at the Lebanese-Syrian border.

In the past 36 hours 15,900 Syrians entered Lebanon, 10,100 came back home. The overall amount of refugees in this country reached 703 thousand people, of which 592 thousand were registered.

Eyewitnesses reported that Syrian families prefer to leave Damascus through a mountain pass and run across the territory of Lebanon to reach quiet places on the Syrian coast. They choose this route avoiding the motorway to Homs and areas North of Damascus where a large-scale counter-terrorist operation is being presently conducted.

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