BEIRUT

Middle East

Rebels’ tit-for-tat bombings in Damascus will continue

Residents inspect a site hit by what activists said were two airstrikes by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Douma in eastern al-Ghouta, near Damascus August 3, 2014. REUTERS/Badra Mamet

BEIRUT: An Islamist militia in the Greater Damascus area has vowed to keep up its recent mortar bomb barrage on the capital, saying it would respond for every attack on the Ghouta suburbs, an anti-regime news outlet said Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Ajnad al-Sham militia told the All 4 Syria news website that the group was responding to a series of “massacres” committed by the regime in Ghouta over the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the beginning of the month.

He said his group was trying to concentrate its barrages of mortar bombs on three areas: presidential offices in the neighborhood of Malki, the Mezzeh 86 district in the west, home to many military personnel and paramilitaries, and the Kfar Souseh neighborhood, where a number of government and security facilities are located.

At least 16 people, including two children, were killed and 79 wounded in rebel shelling of many districts of the capital overnight, said the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It reported that several of the wounded were in serious condition, and the death toll was expected to rise.

Regime strikes on Kfar Batna, east of Damascus, and Douma, northeast of the capital, hit marketplaces and killed at least 64 people Sunday, among them at least 11 children, the Observatory said.

Separately, ISIS militants in the province of Deir al-Zor continued their retaliation against members of a local tribe and others trying to oust the militant group from the area.

The Observatory said that for a second straight day, ISIS militants publicly displayed the decapitated bodies of people accused of fighting the Al-Qaeda splinter group.

In the town of Mayadin, two men were executed for their alleged involvement in a car bombing last month in the city, which killed nine civilians and five ISIS militants. A third man was declared guilty of “fighting ISIS,” the Observatory said.

ISIS placed two severed heads on a bridge in the town of Ashara on the Euphrates River. The alleged crimes of the two victims were unknown, the Observatory said.

The Observatory said the Shwait tribe issued a statement in which it declared its allegiance to ISIS and absolved itself of any involvement in the actions of the Sheiatat tribe, which has been fighting the militant group.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 07, 2014, on page 8.

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Summary

An Islamist militia in the Greater Damascus area has vowed to keep up its recent mortar bomb barrage on the capital, saying it would respond for every attack on the Ghouta suburbs, an anti-regime news outlet said Wednesday.

At least 16 people, including two children, were killed and 79 wounded in rebel shelling of many districts of the capital overnight, said the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Regime strikes on Kfar Batna, east of Damascus, and Douma, northeast of the capital, hit marketplaces and killed at least 64 people Sunday, among them at least 11 children, the Observatory said.


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