Since the start of the holy month of Ramadan, Syrian regime forces have been deliberately pounding Jabal al-Akrad and Jabal al-Turkmen in Lattakia province with heavy artillery as residents break their fast with the iftar evening meal.
In a practice it initiated with the start of the revolution, the regime continues to terrorize civilians during one of the most important months in the Islamic calendar.
Local sources said regime forces bomb the liberated area of Lattakia at the sunset call to prayers and the dawn call to prayer during Ramadan.
Residents are familiar with the strategy after six years of living through the practice every Ramadan, and have resorted to taking precautionary measures such as not eating their iftar meal at the designated time. Instead, residents inspect the location of regime shelling, provide aid to the wounded, bury the martyrs and then break their fast.
Many local residents explained that they now associate iftar with the sound of explosions, as if the regime shelling has come to replace the sound of firing the cannon traditionally used to announce it was iftar time.
Local sources added that civilians avoid gathering in areas that can be easily targeted when they come to break their fast. Locals have begun to black out their windows and block light from fires they use to prepare food, in order to ensure their survival.
The regime forces also target roads leading to the villages making it impossible for residents to move around. Local sources described the period between the afternoon and sunset as “very dangerous” for those traveling on roads monitored by regime forces, which target all moving vehicles without exception.
Mosques remain a key target for the Assad forces. All the mosques in rural Lattakia and western Idleb are either partially or fully destroyed. As a result, worshipers and imams often pray in distant places to ensure their safety.
Speaking to Zaman al-Wasl, Sheikh Mahmoud said, “Since the beginning of the revolution, we have become accustomed to the regime bombing at iftar time and at dawn. All the mosques are destroyed or at least damaged as a result of the shelling.”
He stressed that “the Assad regime wants to prevent us from gathering and praying together because the regime considers our meetings a threat.”
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.