DAMASCUS, Syria, The Syrian army stormed the outskirts of Ain Fijeh town, where the main water spring, feeding the capital Damascus is located, under cover of heavy rocket fire, in the latest bid to restore that area, to resume the water pumping into Damascus, the Syrian military media said.

The army, backed by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, stormed the outskirts of Ain Fijeh town in the Barada Valley, north-west of Damascus, amid rocket and artillery shelling, targeting rebel positions in that area.

The aim of the wide-scale offensive is to recapture the spring, and secure the resumption of the water pumping to Damascus, which has been struggling with the scarcity of water, since Dec 22, when the spring went out of service, due to the intensity of battles.

Opposition activists said, intense battles raged on Wednesday, between the Syrian government forces, backed by Hezbollah, and an array of rebel groups in Barada Valley, coupled with tens of air strikes on that area.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, the Syrian air force targeted rebel positions in that area with tens of air strikes.

Both conflicting parties exchanged accusations over the water crisis in Damascus, as the government accused the rebels’ al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front of cutting the water deliberately, to use it as a weapon to push the government to succumb to their demands, while the rebels blamed the government forces’ shelling for the damage that had befallen the spring.

The capital’s over five million inhabitants have been struggling to secure their needs of water, with the government using its reserve wells, to partially feed Damascus with water.

Meanwhile, a military source told Xinhua that, the Nusra militants started setting homes on fire in Ain Fijeh, as a sort of revenge for the military’s resolve to take that area.

This comes a week after a truce was reached in that area, for the government to enter and fix the spring, in exchange of allowing ultra-radical groups to evacuate the area to the north-western province of Idlib.

However, the truce was quick to fall on Saturday, as the rebels with Nusra Front fired sniper shots at maintenance workers, who entered the area to fix the spring.

They also shot dead retired Brigadier, Ahmad Ghadban, who was tasked by President Bashar al-Assad, to supervise the truce and the reconciliation file in Barada.

The truce deal walked on thorny road, till it was reached last Wednesday, as the Nusra Front was among the rebels who attempted to repeatedly thwart any understanding with the government.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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DAMASCUS, Syria, The Syrian army stormed the outskirts of Ain Fijeh town, where the main water spring, feeding the capital Damascus is located, under cover of heavy rocket fire, in the latest bid to restore that area, to resume the water pumping into Damascus, the Syrian military media said.The...