August 25, 2012
|REUTERS / Khaled Al Hariri|
The town, close to the border with Lebanon, was
liberated by Syrian government forces on Friday, according
to Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen satellite channel. These
reports are yet to be verified. Sixty militants were
For about two weeks Syrian rebels maintained blockade of
the mostly-Christian town, refusing entry to food and
medical supplies, according to the Aid to the Church in
Need Catholic charity, which tried to deliver supplies to
“We have organized ourselves so we can stand by
each other and we are sharing everything so we can
survive. We need all the help we can get. Please help
us,” a local priest told the Caritas, a
Lebanon-based Catholic humanitarian organization, during a
phone call from Rableh.
After a two-week blockade the basic necessities were
reportedly running out in the town because the bridges
around the settlement had been blown up and roads were
Snipers were waiting for those who thought about leaving
the town in search for food. Those who dared to leave in
search for food were shot at. Three men who made attempts
to leave the disaster zone were shot dead, informed the
charity’s representative Father Waldemar Cislo from
There were motorcyclists who made an attempt to carry
bread into the village, but they were also shot at, though
managing to escape the firing line unhurt.
Electric power supply has also been disrupted in the area
as the conflict between the Bashar Assad
government’s forces and the rebel militants
Those Syrians who finally made it to the other side of the
border described the situation back home as
“Some people are starting to feel the hunger,
children’s milk is running out, [there are] no
canned goods, even children’s diapers no longer
exist,” they said.
Both Syrian and Lebanon Catholic authorities have also
been calling for urgent help to the people in
Aid to the Church in Need, previously active in Damascus,
Aleppo and Homs (Syria), and Caritas (Lebanon) had formed
a small – about 800 kilograms – emergency aid
delivery consisting mostly of food, medicine and milk
powder, hoping to get it to the town if militants agreed
to let it pass, but troops made it to the scene
Electric power supply to Rableh has already been restored,
reports Al-Mayadeen satellite channel.
According to the UN estimates the total number of Syrian
refugees has already exceeded 200,000 as the fighting
continues between the government and rebel forces.
The government of President Bashar al-Assad said the
country’s capital has been freed from the militants
and the mop-up operation in the financial hub of Aleppo is
getting close to the end.
Syria’s neighbors report of a refugee exodus from
Turkey has claimed 3,500 refugees crossed the
Turkish-Syrian border in the last 24 hours alone.
According to Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency
Management Directorate official, Ankara has received
78,000 Syrian refugees on its territory.
Another Syrian neighbor, Jordan, reports a record 2,200
people coming from Syria overnight to find refuge in the
Zaatari camp in the north of the country, informed the
spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in
Geneva, Adrian Edwards.
As of now, there are no independent sources of information
to deny or confirm the Syrian refugee statistics.
Still, many Syrian civilians deny the very idea of fleeing
"If you go as a refugee you won't get any
respect," a 20-year-old student in Bustan
al-Qasr settlement, not far from the frontline, told
Reuters. “For most people here, self-respect is
the most important thing,” he explained.
The UN estimates the death toll of the 17-month conflict in Syria exceeds 18,000 victims from both sides.