April 11, 2013
A dispatch from our reporter in A-Raqqa, who asked to remain anonymous due to concerns for his personal safety.
A-RAQQA: Regime choppers flew low in an attempt to drop food supplies by parachute on Division 17, which remains under siege. Meanwhile, the Air Force dropped exploding barrels on the rebels near the division. Earlier this week, airstrikes targeted the northern railway, the corn factory and the Division 17 area. The regime is desperately trying to break the siege on the division.
The FSA has advanced in its campaign against the division. The Thowar a-Raqqa Brigade targeted the northern section of the division with mortars and locally made rockets, while the Ahfad a-Rasoul Brigade bombed the southern sections with locally made rockets.
A Syrian military helicopter fires randomly over A-Raqqa on Wednesday
In the evening on Wednesday, we heard the sounds of mortars in some neighborhoods in A-Raqqa City, but there were no civilian casualties. Civilian residential buildings were targeted with mortars near the Cultural Center for the fifth time in five days.
In the rural areas, the FSA and the Islamist battalions continue to surround Tabaqah Air Force Base. They have targeted it with mortars. In the morning, sounds of heavy clashes were heard near the airbase.
Regime forces responded by randomly bombing Tabaqah city with artillery. The Ghouraba al-Islam Brigade replaced the regime’s graffiti on Tabaqah’s city walls with Islamic ones.
The northern rural areas are suffering severe shortages of basic supplies. Hospitals in Tal Abiad have issued an emergency plea for assistance after an outbreak of measles among children. In these areas people, still don’t have electricity or water service for the 26th day.
Abdullah al-Khalil, the head of the a-Raqqa Governorate Council, has distributed medicine to the hospitals and the Red Crescent.
The rebel Thowar a-Raqqa Brigade has started a cleaning campaign in a-Raqqa. The workers at the Water Establishment have been fixing the pipelines for three days. These water pipelines were previously destroyed in the bombardment and today they have completed the repairs.
The sounds of heavy clashes are still heard inside the city.
The water service is back in the city after it was cut for three days due to the regime airstrikes. Phone and internet services have been cut for almost a month. The city suffers a shortage of medical supplies. The maternity hospital suffers a severe shortage of oxygen.