Duma: A Post-Massacre Tour

Duma: A Post-Massacre Tour
Investigations | 02 Sep 2015

Days passed since the Duma massacre, and the city seems not to have been fully butchered. The bloody scene was reprised this week, with the Rozana reporter touring the location in an ambulance; attempting to help save the inhabitants, while also not forgetting his camera, to try to both document and transmit the images and voices of the people.

"When the pilot dropped his bomb, we fell on the ground as a result of the blast's enormous impact. I saw body parts, and started to try and minister the injured" says a local inhabitant with his distinct Duma accent, speaking to Rozana about the first moments of the massacre, which took place on Sunday 16 August, 2015.

The man adds, referring to the regime forces, "These people are useless facing Israel, they are only standing up to their own people. Their end will be filthy."

The city native did not stop there, while standing within the ruins of his vegetable shop which he owned, and which had been destroyed by the shelling; he ended his words by saying: "Ours is a treacherous state."

An Image Worth More Than a Thousand Words

More than 100 people were killed, and 550 wounded, according to the Unified Medical Office in Duma due to the bombing by regime airplanes of a popular market in the city, located in the Damascus countryside. After that bombing, people sifted through the rubble and picked up the pieces of whatever had been ;eft of their belongings. Here, in this image, a child carries over his shoulder what looks to be heavier than he could normally take.

 

In another scene, a man cries over what he had left. The dead bodies are many, even though he was unable to recognize those close to him. All people are equal under the massacre, and their loss can not be divvied up; while civil defense men, work like unstoppable machines to rescue as many as they can.

 

After the massacre, Rozana's tour and documenation of the post-massacre scene continues. The city of Duma, the largest in the Damascus countryside, has been subjected to an impenetrable siege imposed by the Syrian regime forces; turning it into a large collective gaol, a Guantanamo of sorts, for about ninety thousand people, for more than three years to date.

 

What Now, After the Massacre?

After the massacre on Sunday, many people in Duma headed out to the farms and open space for fear of the bombing; others, changed their places of residence, from homes to building shelters; while others fatalistically surrendered themselves to the situation, as per the saying "Que sera, sera [Whatever will be, will be]."

 

According to the Rozana reporter in Duma: "Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday witnessed complete quiet on the streets of the city. The regime launched combing operations; via heavy intermittent mortar fire, rockets, as well as launching several [air] raids."

As for Thursday, according to the reporter, the pace of shelling subsided with the focus [of the regime] turning seeming to focus on [the nearby  city of] Harasta. He adds that the curfew, which lasted through the past few days, had now been eased by 50%. People have decided to continue on with their lives.

Thursday did also, however, witness several victims, despite the reduced rate of regime bombing if compared to that of the beginning of the week.

Abu Subhi, who lost his shop and witnessed the massacre at close hand, comments: "Is this just? Do the great powers accept this to which we are exposed?" A question from an elderly Duma man, one that opens the way to another question, posed by some: "Why does the Syrian regime not target the military parades of the Army of Islam [the militia in control in Duma] in the Damascus Ghuta?"


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