Damascus under fire "Mohamed Al-Wazir of the NCSROF said that the Army of Islam’s rockets targeted solely military positions and that the regime reacted by shelling other parts of the city to incriminate the revolutionaries. People who examined the trajectory of the shelling support this view, saying that the capital came under fire from the Qasyun Mountains, known to be in regime hands. Alloush, who ordered the shelling of Damascus, is a controversial figure. Some members of the opposition describe him as a “fifth column,” noting that he was one of the first men to be released from prison by the regime after the outbreak of the revolution, having promised to cooperate with the authorities. Alloush later broke this promise, formed his own brigades, obtained funding from Arab sources and managed to increase the size of his forces until it numbered in the thousands. He has refrained from major engagements with regime forces, even when much smaller groups were regularly harassing them. Many opposition members note that Damascus, a city of five million people, is not necessarily pro-government, but is rather being held hostage by the regime. Damascus residents do not see the regime as a benefactor, but instead testify to the years of negligence and corruption that have defaced the city, and to the regime’s pro-Iranian policies that have virtually turned the city’s famous Umayyad Mosque into something akin to a Shiite shrine."