Mortars of Death

Mortars of Death
Investigations | 19 Sep 2013

Ahmad Al-Arabi - Damascus Sounds of different explosions can be heard everywhere in Damascus nowadays. Perhaps the most terrifying one for the residents of the city is the sound of mortars shells or “shells of death" as they call them now. The name and horror is because mortars, used by both the regime and the opposition forces, are inaccurate weapons and usually they cause a lot of casualties amongst civilians. Mortar have become a daily occurrence, falling on civilians everywhere in the city; houses, shops, and in the crowded streets. The aftermath is usually a scene of horror, chaos and death. Khaled who lives in Damascus has told us “at least one or two mortars fall on residential areas every day.” While Ghazi, another resident of Damascus, believes that since it is relatively easy to avoid compact areas, the main reason of terror in the city nowadays has become “a mortar shell falling on you or one of your family while walking down the street even though none of you is the target of either party". With every mortar, and with the inability to determine the exact place from which it was launched, the regime and the opposition exchange accusations, blaming each other for the civilian casualties. The regime forces have positioned their mortars in densely populated residential areas and inside governmental buildings, and from there they target opposition controlled areas, then the opposition forces would reciprocate, and hence the huge difference in the number of casualties since the regime has positioned its forces. Khalid has told us that “The regime usually targets almost deserted areas, causing material damage in most cases. Yet, when the armed opposition respond, it causes a much larger number of civilian casualties in the regime controlled areas".


We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website.Accept