Wounded Syrian men wait to receive treatment at a makeshift hospital in the rebel-held area of Douma, Syria.
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On the morning of Sunday, Aug. 16, the residents of besieged Douma felt reassured that it was going to be a quiet day.Being the first day of a new week, people headed to the two main markets that remain in the opposition-held area, which has been completely closed off from the world since last July, to buy necessities, or at least those that are still available, Iyad Srewell, an activist who lives in Douma, recounts.Another activist in Douma, who wishes to remain anonymous, was at a medical center that day.Since that Sunday, the regime has continued to bomb Douma, and neighboring Harasta, every day, all the attacks supposedly in retaliation for the rebel Army of Islam group – which controls Eastern Ghouta – taking a regime airbase in Harasta Saturday. The Sunday massacre constitutes a war crime, according to the U.N. But the people of Douma have heard that before. Two years ago Friday, a regime chemical attack killed over 1,000 people across the Eastern Ghouta, in which Douma lies. The schools which still operate in Douma are also vulnerable to attack, and most have been damaged in airstrikes. Any that continue to function now tend to open only in the morning, from 6–9 a.m., or from 9 a.m. until noon, before the airstrikes begin, the activist says.
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