'Fierce Clashes' near Damascus as 86 Killed across Syria

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

Rebel forces and Syrian army units engaged in deadly combat around elite Republican Guard posts in the suburbs of Damascus on Tuesday, as 86 people were killed across the country, a monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the death toll consisted of 50 civilians, 32 soldiers and four rebels.

"Violent clashes are taking place around positions of the Republican Guard in Qudsaya and aAl-Hama," eight kilometers (five miles) from central Damascus, the head of the Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman, told Agence France Presse.

Twenty-eight people were killed in and around the capital, including 14 people in al-Hama and 11 in Qudsaya during shelling by regime troops.

"This is the first time that the regime uses artillery in fighting so close to the capital," Abdel Rahman said.

"This development is important because it's the heaviest fighting in the area and close to the heart of the capital."

Abu Omar, a spokesman for activists in the Damascus region, told AFP via Skype that "all communication has been cut off in and around al-Hama and Qudsaya."

He charged that regime forces "stormed the areas with tanks" and also spoke of a "massacre" although he gave no further details.

The official SANA news agency said, meanwhile, that government forces clashed with "armed terrorist groups" in al-Hama.

"The armed groups attacked citizens and law enforcement forces and blocked the Old Beirut road to use it as a smuggling route for weapons," SANA said.

"Dozens of terrorists were killed in the clashes," while others were arrested, SANA said.

Weapons were also seized, including "rocket-propelled grenade launchers, sniper rifles, machine guns and a large amount of ammunition," the agency added.

The Observatory reported that five people were killed in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, where several neighborhoods came under army bombardment, while three were killed elsewhere in the province.

Six civilians and two rebels were killed in the northwest province of Idlib, among them three civilians and one rebel killed in Khan Sabul.

In central Hama province, a rebel battalion commander and a defected officer were killed during clashes between the army and rebels.

Elsewhere in central Syria, one person was killed in shelling on the Khaldiyeh neighborhood of Homs.

Six people died in the southern province of Daraa, known as the cradle of the uprising, including three who were killed during shelling on the town of Kafr al-Shams as the army tried to gain control over the area.

Another civilian was shot dead by troops in the northern province of Aleppo.

At least 32 soldiers were also killed on Tuesday in fighting with rebels in various parts of Syria.

On Monday, 95 people were killed, including 61 civilians, as the army pounded rebel strongholds and other towns and cities.

According to the Britain-based Observatory, the government's suppression of an anti-regime revolt since March 2011 has cost more than 15,000 lives.

Comments 14
Thumb shab 26 June 2012, 11:09

Rock'n'Roll

Thumb thepatriot 26 June 2012, 11:36

Over 30 generals defected and counting...

Missing youssefhaddad 26 June 2012, 11:52

These battles are too close for Assad's comfort. The Regime's strength continuous to erode.

Default-user-icon + oua nabka + (Guest) 26 June 2012, 12:33

3a2bel all the rest of the countries that messed with lebanon

Missing Rambo 26 June 2012, 13:17

I hope they can hold in and establish a secure area. This will help keep them away from messing around with our affairs but it is tuff for the rebels to keep it.

Thumb lebneneh 26 June 2012, 14:53

The regime will eventually fall and unfortunately the real chaos will start then...what a stupid regime!

Default-user-icon j mc doo (Guest) 26 June 2012, 17:14

Only war in Syria.....Media War. Reporting is currently hysterical. A sign that the insurgency is going badly.

Thumb min-canada 26 June 2012, 21:24

Rambo, they will not be holding any territory. That is counter productive and weakens them. They are in an a-symetrical war. The goal is to kill the enemy and create no safe haven for him. They are becoming more and more successful in this and more and more soldiers are joining them.

My question is what will happen if they attack the palace and Russian guards are killed? What about the Russians manning all the AA systems and the sensitive radars? Are they open game? Russia has to start thinking about how involved it wants to be.

Default-user-icon M8 (Guest) 26 June 2012, 23:17

Do not worry Rambo. The M8 Lebanese majority will not ONLY allow America and Saudi Arabia mess "with our affairs". The M8 majority will rule Lebanon whether the Baath regime exists in Syria or not.

Missing spartacus 26 June 2012, 23:31

min-canada, your comment is wrong. Asymmetric war works well against a foreign occupying force (Afg, Vietnam, Algeria, Lebanon), but it is not proven than an asymmetrical war is winning against a national government. Actually history says quite the contrary: without major foreign support or intervention, such rebellions can go on for decades without any victory. This fits perfectly with the impression everybody has: the so called Syrian opposition relies more and more on CIA and Gulf support, and pursue foreign agendas.

Missing spartacus 26 June 2012, 23:31

Even if guerrilla was actually working, I question the morality of "killing the enemy" when the enemy is a fellow national. Targeting the soldiers with surprise actions makes you no better than the shabbiha you dislike so much, and makes legitimate the use of force to disrupt such terrorist groups. To achieve the illegitimate goal of a regime change through the use of violence, you are inciting civil war, simply. Your reference to Russian manning Syrian systems is fraudulently deceiving; there are more Gulf fundamental islamists than Russian advisers.

Default-user-icon The Truth (Guest) 27 June 2012, 06:11

On to Damascus, victory and Assad's head on a pike.

Default-user-icon The Truth (Guest) 27 June 2012, 06:22

@Spartacus: Are you stupid or just ignorant? Examples of guerrilla warfare working against governments- Cuba, in South Vietnam by the Viet Cong against the south vietnamese government, Taliban versus Afghan government, Franco versus the government of Spain before world war ii and on and on.

Also are they stupid to face tanks with machine guns head on? They're using their brains and using guerrilla warfare.

Missing spartacus 27 June 2012, 08:17

A commando assaulted the Syrian National TV, killing 3 journalists. Terrorism against a civilian target, aimed at intimidating the press. This is immoral and coward, and it will backfire.