In the beginning of 217, the anti-terror international coalition launched a systematic campaign against the bridges in the province of Deir Ezzor, destroying at least six of them in one month. The destroyed bridges are the Ayn Abu Jamaa Bridga, Al-Buwaytiyah Bridge, Al-Mayadeen Bridge, Al-Asharah Bridge, Al-Baghuz Bridge and Al-Sussah Bridge. On the other hand, Assad and Russian warplanes had destroyed the rest of the bridges before 2017, including Al-Siyassiyah Bridge, Al-Joura Bridge, Kanamat Bridge, Al-Muaalaq Bridge, Halabiyah Zlabiyah Bridge.
The bridges had an irreplaceable and important role in the province for the latter is divided into two parts: the southern part that is known as Al-Shamiyah area and the northern part that is known as Al-Jazeera area. The two areas are separated by the Euphrates River and were linked with the bridges that were destroyed on the pretense of reducing the movement of Daesh.
The air campaign has caused an economic crisis in the province that has mainly affected civilians. The transportation of goods has become very difficult due to the increase in the prices of transporting them between the banks of the river, which is done by primitive river barges. It has also resulted in a humanitarian crisis because people can hardly transport patients and wounded civilians from the Jazzeera area to the Shamiyah area where most hospitals in the province are located.
The coalition destroyed the bridges under the pretext of crippling Daesh movement and containing it in specific geographical areas; however, what happened was in fact crippling the movement of civilians and increasing their suffering. In addition, the irony is that the same aircraft that pulverized the bridges are the same aircraft that carried out landing operations during which they evacuated families of their spies who were operating in Daesh-held territory. Some of those operations were executed in the desert of Al-Buleil, Buqruss as well as Al-Mayadeen. The series of the landing operations rebut the argument of the coalition that they destroyed the infrastructure and the bridges of Deir Ezzor in order to complete their mission of fighting terrorism.
The destruction of the province and spelling the blood of its residents which was preceded by the destruction of the bridges turned out to be a plan and an agreement brokered between the IC and Russia. In the ninth month of this year, the Russian and Assad aircraft finished the mission that was started by the IC by carrying out a systematic wave of airstrikes that targeted cities, towns and villages in the province, bearing in mind that also the IC participated in it. The latter campaign resulted in an unprecedented destruction of public facilities and civilian houses, in addition to harrowing and appalling massacres in which hundreds of civilians were killed. Most of the civilian casualties were caused by the targeting of the river crossings in the southern bank (Al-Shamiyah), which forced the locals to flee from the Shamiyah area using river barges. The river crossings were always over crowded with terrified civilians fleeing the barbaric airstrikes against their cities and towns in the region. However, the aircraft still targeted them in those river crossing, carrying out at least ten massacres in less than two months.
Some of the documented massacres are as follows:
The massacre of the Hawayej river crossing: 40 civilians were killed and dozens of others were wounded.
The massacred of Al Buleil river crossing: 36 civilians were killed and many others were injured.
The massacre of Al Asharah river crossing: 54 civilians were killed
The massacre of the Shamiyah Tabiyah river crossing: 6 civilians were killed
The massacre of the Hajin river crossing: 6 civilians were killed
The Quriyah river crossing massacre: 15 civilians were killed
The Buqruss river crossing: 42 civilians were killed
The Baghuz river crossing massacre: 15 civilians were killed.
The plan that the IC started by destroying the bridges in the province of Deir Ezzor and causing economic and humanitarian crises was completed by Russia and Assad by destroying the province and spelling the blood of its locals. The rest of civilians are fleeing for their lives, looking for a safe haven and leaving behind a province that has been depopulated from its residents and is waiting for an unknown fate in light of the military developments which are the result of the Russia-USA agreement, whose details remain mysterious to the very moment.
Written by Rami Abu Al Zain