The international community is lauding a United Nations-brokered deal to provide relief to Homs’ long-blockaded Old City, but the aid plan is far from universally welcome in this battle-scarred and profoundly divided city.
The relief effort has stirred deep animosities among many government supporters, who view it as a sellout to opposition forces — “terrorists,” in official terms — hunkered down in the ruins of the Old City.
“This is basically giving the terrorists food and medicine and letting them go free,” said Rihab Ismael, a dairy worker who lives in the Zahra district, a sniper-plagued zone less than a mile from what remains of the rebel-controlled Old City. “We desperately need help here too. Why is everything concentrated on the ones who made our lives unbearable?”