Skip to comments.Fierce Fighting in Syria Swells Refugee Exodus
Posted on 08/24/2012 6:04:38 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Hundreds of soldiers and dozens of tanks and armored vehicles pushed into the centre of Daraya after a small group of defenders withdrew... Assad's forces had subjected the Sunni Muslim township to a three-day bombardment from artillery, tanks, mortars, rockets and helicopter gunships in which at least 70 people were killed, 21 of them on Friday they said...
"The rebels have mostly slipped away. The fear now is that the army will round up young men and summarily execute them, like it did in Mouadamiya," he said, referring to a nearby suburb where residents said troops killed at least 40 people in cold blood this week after storming in to hunt down rebels.
Opposition sources reported a similar killing spree by Assad's forces in the Qaboun district of Damascus, where they said at least 46 people were done to death...
Assad's forceful response to initially peaceful protests inspired by Arab uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere has spawned an armed rebellion and plunged Syria into a civil war that the United Nations says has cost more than 18,000 lives.
The military has been struggling to shore up Assad's grip on Damascus and the northern city of Aleppo, which had long stayed aloof from the conflict between a mostly Sunni opposition and a power structure dominated by minority Alawites.
Fighting erupted in Aleppo, Syria's biggest city, after rebels staged an offensive there and in Damascus, emboldened by a July 14 bomb attack that killed four of Assad's top aides.
Clashes raged on in Aleppo, where combat jets and helicopter gunships struck rebel-held districts overnight, residents said...
On a frontline in the southern Saif al-Dawla area, rebels destroyed an armored personnel carrier and the army fired tank shells and mortar bombs, but made no attempt to advance.
(Excerpt) Read more at reuters.com ...
Members of the Free Syrian Army exchange places as they take cover during clashes with Syrian army soldiers in Aleppo's Saif al-Dawla district, August 22, 2012. [Credit: Reuters/Zain Karam]
(Additional reporting by Oliver Holmes in Aleppo, Mariam Karouny in Beirut, Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva, John Irish in Paris and Jonathon Burch in Ankara; Writing by Alistair Lyon; Editing by Jon Boyle)
Turkey probes possible Iran link in bombing
Posted: Friday, August 24, 2012 12:00 am