Damascus Hit by Clashes after Key Rebel Gain, Says NGO

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

The outskirts of the Syrian capital were rocked by clashes early on Saturday a day after rebels seized a key regime airbase in the north, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based watchdog said two children and two men were killed when Mleha just southeast of Damascus was bombarded, and that two rebels battling forces loyal to President Bashar Assad were also killed there.

"Regime forces used warplanes to bombard the area between Mleha and Jaramana on Saturday a day after rebels assaulted an air force security building there," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

Mleha's outskirts are next to Jaramana, a regime-held majority Christian and Druze suburb, some of whose residents have struggled to remain neutral in the country's spiraling conflict.

"Many people from Jaramana were injured in the air raid on the outskirts," a resident of the district who identified herself as Mary told AFP by Internet.

"On the streets and on Facebook pages, even people who have long defended the regime are saying they've had enough."

Saturday's violence came a day after at least 86 people were killed across Syria, said the Observatory, which relies on a network of activists and medics on the ground to compile its reports.

It gave a a preliminary toll of at least 22 people were killed nationwide on Saturday.

Among Friday's casualties were nine rebels, eight soldiers and two regime militiamen killed when insurgents overran the key Taftanaz air base in northwestern Syria, in one of their most important military gains to date.

Capturing Taftanaz, from which regime forces launched deadly helicopter gunship sorties, eases the pressure on rebels who already control vast swathes of Syria's north and east.

Government forces managed to evacuate most of the 60 helicopters deployed there, leaving behind 20 that are no longer serviceable, the Observatory said.

The United Nations says that more than 60,000 people have died in the Syria conflict which began in mid-March 2011 with peaceful protests that quickly erupted into deadly violence in the wake of a harsh regime crackdown.

Comments 11
Missing realist 12 January 2013, 11:58

The rebels will eventualy storm bashar's house, it does not matter how long it takes, the outcome is inevitable. The criminals in lebanon who support this regime will wake up one day to their worse nightmares when they see their enemies take over Damascus and bring it back to Arabia from the hands of Iran.

Thumb geha 12 January 2013, 16:13

what attracted my attention is that the regime attacked with warplanes an area with Christians and druze. after the raid those who were supporting the regime said: we have enough :)
this regime is killing indiscriminately.
where are the Christian defenders? where are those who used to say this regime is the best thing for Christians?

Missing abraham 12 January 2013, 17:19

what are the rebels doing fighting in the middle of living neighberhoods, where the people are declared neutrality.
The rebels know what they are doing, shooting from those neighberhoods, and run away quickly, so the govermant troops when hitting back, destroys innocent lives.
thats what you call guarilla walfare

Missing lebcan 13 January 2013, 03:11

Zionist America plays BOTH Arabia and Persia in the palm of its hands and the sheep of both believe their own treasonous leaders... please wake up people of Arabia and people of Persia...

Thumb primesuspect 13 January 2013, 04:41

where's problema if America plays with both Arabs and Persians? Greater powers always ruled over small ones.. it's the way the human being works.

Thumb geha 12 January 2013, 18:07

they are still militia against a supposedly loyal army, and they are fleeing like rats. this is open space and not suburban war, thus the army should have the upper hand :) and still they are running like rats.
moreover this confirms assad is preparing for the divided Syria as he is consolidating airplanes, helicopters, and the like in his areas.

Missing helicopter 12 January 2013, 18:55

My concern as a Lebanese citizen is that we Lebanese are divided into camps supporting opposing sides. Even though I am all for Bashar falling, my fear is that the pro FSA/Nusra/Jund Elsham (and whoever else) will behave towards their fellow Lebanese just like M8 is behaving now. In such case all we have done is switched hats as to who the future villain is. It is time we (M8 and M14 and everyone else in between) all unite as citizens of one nation with demarcated borders, strong judicial system. void of corruption and void of arms except for those in the hands of the Government. It is up to each one of us to work to such goals because it will never happen from the top down, only possibility is for it to be a grass root movement.

Thumb geha 12 January 2013, 20:15

how can we do that while hizbushaitan and fpm are still supporting the Syrian regime against Lebanese? they are still arming and training against us. what do you propose we do?
they refuse to disarm!

Thumb andre.jabbour 13 January 2013, 00:43

Against us? Noooo against the Lebanese. You're not Lebanese nor is Aoun.

Thumb kanaandian 12 January 2013, 23:09

Today near the Turkish border there were reports of a 24-year old man who had one foot and right hand amputated for "robbery". He was sentenced under an extrajudicial sharia tribunal, made up of towelheads from Al Farouq Brigades.

Missing samiam 13 January 2013, 00:08

in the meanwhile, I have over a dozen family members both muslim and christian who have permanent scars from the syrian 'mukhabarat'--their only crime was being in the line of sight of the syrian regime.

I understand the fear-mongering, and I don't support the extremists that have entered the overthrow of the ASSads, but this could have been taken care of early on; however, due to the actions of this regime, they have brought this on the syrian people themselves. And this regime is probably not much better than the people you are referring to.