BEIRUT Dec 23 The Damascus water authority has
been forced to cut supplies coming into the Syrian capital for a
few days and use reserves instead after rebels polluted the
water with diesel, it said on Friday.
The al-Fija spring which supplies Damascus with water is in
the rebel-held Wadi Barada valley northwest of the capital in a
mountainous area near the Lebanese border.
The government controls much of the surrounding territory
and on Friday carried out aerial attacks and shelled the
rebel-held area, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
A military news outlet run by Syrian government ally
Hezbollah said the rebels in the Wadi Barada valley had refused
to leave the area and as a result the Syrian Arab Army began an
offensive against them on Friday morning.
Through a series of so-called settlement agreements and army
offensives, the Syrian government, backed by Russian air power
and Iran-backed militias, has been steadily suppressing armed
opposition around the capital.
(Reporting by Lisa Barrington in Beirut and Suleiman al-Khalidi
in Amman; editing by David Clarke)