Aid convoy reaches besieged neighborhoods in southern Damascus

By Oliviero Reusser

On the 8th of July, a UN and SARC aid convoy consisting of 27 trucks of food parcels, medicine and other aid reached the three neighborhoods of Babila, Beit Sahm and Yalda. These three towns are located in the Yarmouk pocket, an area held by opposition groups in the southern areas of Damascus. The area has been besieged since years now and there are several armed factions present: Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Jaish al-Islam aswell as local brigades. The three towns which received aid are held by JAI and locals. 

A part of the besieged pocket in the east is under control of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq, whose fighters regularly clash with HTS. 

The neighborhoods of Babila, Beit Sahm and Yalda have been engaged in reconciliation talks with the Syrian government since atleast the beginning of this year. Local council representatives and armed faction officials negotiate with government representatives in order to achieve an agreement on the future of the area. These kind of deals are commonplace now and normally include giving control of the town to Syria security forces, often aided by Russian Military Police, a legal settlement of the status of fighters and locals and the entrance of aid. 

Location of the three neighborhoods including rough frontline, southern Damascus

Location of the three neighborhoods including rough frontline, southern Damascus