Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
WEDNESDAY, 16 APR 2014
09:58 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Fighting rages around Damascus: activists
Agence France Presse
A view of a burnt vehicle and damaged buildings in the Aleppo district of Salaheddine December 5, 2012. Picture taken December 5, 2012. REUTERS/Aref Hretani
A view of a burnt vehicle and damaged buildings in the Aleppo district of Salaheddine December 5, 2012. Picture taken December 5, 2012. REUTERS/Aref Hretani
A+ A-

BEIRUT: Troops waged fierce assaults on rebel positions around Syria on Thursday, zooming in on the outskirts of Damascus where the regime is determined to regain control, a monitoring group said.

In the capital, security forces swarmed the southern district of Zahra after a car bomb exploded, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying no one was killed, according to its initial information.

However state television reported that "Al-Qaeda terrorists exploded a bomb in a car in front of a Red Crescent centre in Damascus, causing one death and major damage".

Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad shelled outlying areas of Damascus -- Douma and Zabadani to the northeast and Daraya and Moadamiyet al-Sham in the southwest.

As the army escalated its bid to seize control of rebel-held Daraya, scene in August of the single worst massacre in Syria's 21-month conflict, additional troops were deployed to the town.

"Syrian army units continued today to pursue terrorists loyal to (the radical Islamist) Al-Nusra Front, which is part of Al-Qaeda, in Daraya," according to state news agency SANA.

Citing an unnamed military source, the agency also said "Daraya will be completely cleansed of terrorists soon".

Regime media has frequently announced the army would end the insurgency, though such statements have rarely borne fruit.

"The army is advancing little by little into Daraya, though the (rebel) Free Syrian Army is fighting hard to keep the troops out of the town," an anti-regime activist told AFP over the Internet.

"The army has been able to enter into around 30 percent of Daraya in recent days, and there are serious fears about what would happen to the town if the troops do reclaim it," said the activist, who identified himself as Abu Kinan.

At the same time, there were clashes in the flashpoint town of Irbin to the east, the Observatory said, adding rebels had assaulted a depot for tanks and military vehicles.

"Rebels have seized three military vehicles, and destroyed two others," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

Damascus province is now a key battlefield, as regime forces battle to retake control of an eight-kilometre (five-mile) belt around the capital, analysts say.

Elsewhere, rebels fought against soldiers backed by artillery.

In the embattled northern city of Aleppo, several districts saw clashes, while shells slammed into zones in the southern province of Daraa, said the Observatory.

In the town of Sfira in Aleppo province, the Al-Nusra Front seized control of a power station, the watchdog added.

The Observatory said fighting on Wednesday had claimed 104 lives across the country, according to its toll compiled from a network of activists, lawyers and doctors.

The Britain-based watchdog has tallied more than 41,000 deaths, most of them civilians, since the uprising broke out in March 2011.

 
Home Middle East
 
     
 
Lebanon
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Tuesday April 15, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
The presidential chess game has begun
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
China moves to the scary side of its boom
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS