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(Jesuit Refugee Service Syria)

Damascus, 21 March 2017 - The capital of Syria, awoke this morning with a terrible explosion around 0500 hrs in the Joubar area of the city. Ever since, there has been heavy rocket and mortar attacks in the Al-Abbassyin square, Kassaa, Bab-Touma, Mazraa and Jaramana neighbourhoods of the city. As of now (9.30 am), we have unaware of the number of fatalities or of those injured, in this latest round of violence.

The JRS Communications Officer from Damascus informs us that, “Jaramana where the Alberto Hurtado JRS Centre is located was also a target of the shelling this morning. Fortunately, none of the JRS staff or Centres have been affected. In Damascus, none of the JRS Staff could reach Office/Centres because of the severe clashes outside.”

It has been almost a week of fresh violence in Damascus. More than fifty people were killed in twin bomb explosions near a popular shrine a few days ago. Violent attacks and shelling have continued most of this past week.

JRS MENA and JRS Syria continue to make a fervent appeal to all factions to eschew all violence immediately and to ensure safety and security for all Syrians and lasting peace for the whole of Syria. Our prayers continue for this intention. 

Today being Mother's Day, we remember and pray for all Syrian mothers – particularly those affected by the violence.