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The drinking water supply to some วัดนอก สามเสน 5 million residents in the Syrian capital, Damascus, was cut on 23 December by the Damascus Water Authority, who say rebels have contaminated it with diesel. Rebels deny this, saying bombing by the government has damaged the infrastructure. The historic water source of Ain al-Fijeh lies in the valley of Wadi Barada, 18km (11 miles) นางพญากรุนครไทย north-west of the capital, where a cluster of 10 villages has been under rebel control since 2012. Local people joined the revolution early on in protest against government neglect, corruption and land grabs made legal under new state land measures, where whole hillsides were requisitioned for sports clubs and luxury hotels. Image copyright AP Image caption Both sides have blamed the other for damaging the water supply Image copyright EPA Image caption Water provision to Damascus has been drastically reduced On 22 December the Assad government, using barrel bombs dropped from helicopters and supported on the ground by Lebanese Shia militia fighters of Hezbollah, began a campaign to take control of the strategic valley and springs. The timing was significant, just days before the announcement of the countrywide ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey on 29 December. Network of waterways The Barada Gorge was cut through the Anti-Lebanon Mountains eons ago by the Barada river, which still runs through the centre of Damascus. Today the river is just a shadow of its former self, diminished for most of the year by drought and pollution to a dirty trickle by the time it reaches the city centre. But in earlier times it was the source of the city's legendary fertility, and the reason for its location in an oasis of gardens and orchards known as the Ghouta. Image copyright Diana Darke Image caption A Roman aqueduct system still exists alongside the river The river was and still is fed by the meltwaters of Mount Hermon, Syria's highest peak. Mentioned no less than 15 times in the Bible, it retains its snow-capped summit till early June.