The Syrian regime army has closed the only crossing to Eastern Ghouta in the eastern countryside of the capital, Damascus.
For the last six months, pro-regime merchants were allowed to access these regions with food rations and vegetables to sell in the opposition-held areas which have been under a regime siege for more than a year and a half.
Media activist in the besieged eastern countryside, Abu Hassan al-Andalusi, said in an exclusive interview with Syria Mubasher that the army had closed the only crossing to the towns of Eastern Ghouta. The crossing connects the regime-held al-Wafideen Camp with the opposition-held city of Douma from the north east, near Damascus Central Prison. The pro-regime merchants used to share a portion of the $500,000 daily profit with the security men at three checkpoints on the road to the crossing.
"The crossing at al-Wafideen Camp was closed throughout the last year, and the people of the region were starving under the siege. Then a class of merchants appeared, claiming they will save Ghouta from hunger. They used the crossing which was forbidden to everyone else," he said.
"These merchants were given the green light from the regime as part of a treaty and agreement to provide food and vegetables at double the normal prices, so that the besieged Eastern Ghouta became a source of financial support for the regime."
The Syrian opposition had announced the towns of Eastern Ghouta and the Jobar neighborhood as "disaster areas". The announcement came during a meeting including all civic bodies and local councils and armed opposition factions in Damascus and its countryside, and was called due to the deteriorating humanitarian, living and health conditions which these towns suffer from, two years after they were put under siege by the Syrian regime which prevents the entry of humanitarian, medical aid and food to the residents.
The local councils and united judiciary also recently issued a statement in which they declared Eastern Ghouta as a disaster area in terms of all economic, educational, medical and other services.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer