Activists in northeast Syria have reported that Bashar Assad’s forces have adopted a new strategy in killing, planting landmines near the main highway in Deir El-Zor.
Six passengers were killed and seven wounded recently after a landmine exploded near their bus on the international road, activists said.
The Syrian army should cease its use of antipersonnel landmines and recognize that planting this internationally banned weapon will hurt Syrians for years to come, Human Rights Watch said in previous reports.
“It’s an act of revenge,” activists said, “the regime wants to cover its failure by planting explosives on roads that civilians pass by.”
An activist in Deir al-Zor, who only identified himself as Rami, fearing for his safety, said that two days ago "regime forces opened fire using machine guns on the Therdah mountain bus, martyring one civilian and wounding others. Although the bus was coming from Damascus and passed all the security and military checkpoints, and the passengers were subjected to inspection and identity checks more than 25 times during the trip – so why regime forces shoot them when none of them was wanted?"
Before liberating al-Hweqa and Deir El-Zor suspension bridge, the residents of the city used to enter the liberated neighborhoods through al-Siyahseyah Bridge, now nicknamed "the death bridge."
The bridge, which extends 500 meters in front of the liberated political security building, was monitored by at least five regime snipers, using rifles equipped with 12.7 peculiar night vision, to target whoever crossed the bridge. At least one of the passengers on each bus or a car passing over the bridge was injured trying to pass the bridge.
Mohammed N, a cousin of two martyrs killed on the death bridge said "hundreds of people in the city have been martyred on this bridge."
"The dilemma of Deir El-Zor’s people has ended partially by the liberation of this bridge, however, the risk of death by missiles still hangs over pedestrians, because of the regime’s heavy multiple rocket launchers which are centralized on the Panorama checkpoint south of the city , still target passing cars."
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer