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As Syrian army closes in, Douma residents turn against rebels

Douma’s residents protested against Jaish al-Islam for monopolizing food supplies to the Damascene suburb, while Syrian government forces edge closer to retaking the rebel stronghold.
Children eat corn on the cob on a street in Douma, eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus November 7, 2014. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT SOCIETY) - RTR4DA0I

DAMASCUS, Syria — For the first time in two years, protests broke out Nov.15 in the rebel-held stronghold of Douma, 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) northeast of Damascus. Yet, this time the demonstrations weren’t held against the Syrian regime, but against Jaish al-Islam and the traders collaborating with it. The protests have been dubbed “The Hunger Demonstrations.”

Douma has been besieged by the Syrian army for a year and has since been under constant shelling. The suburb’s residents have consumed all their means of sustenance. The Syrian army checkpoint at al-Wafideen refugee camp on the Damascus-Douma road is preventing the entry of all humanitarian aid to the city, which has had adverse effects on citizens, especially since warlords and armed groups have taken control of supply stores.

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