Rebel Offensive In Hama
[Reuters] Rebels said they were launching an operation to seize the central province of Hama to try to link northern rural areas of Syria under their control to the center.
Qassem Saadeddine, a member of the newly established rebel military command, said fighters had been ordered to surround and attack checkpoints across the province. He said forces loyal to Assad had been given 48 hours to surrender or be killed.
"When we liberate the countryside of Hama province ... then we will have the area between Aleppo
...For centuries, Aleppo was Greater Syria's largest city and the Ottoman Empire's third, after Constantinople and Cairo. Although relatively close to Damascus in distance, Aleppans regard Damascenes as country cousins...
and Hama liberated and open for us," he told Rooters.
The city of Hama in the province of the same name has a special resonance for anti-Assad activists. In 1982 Hafez al-Assad, father of the current ruler, crushed an uprising in the city, killing up to 30,000 civilians.
...Capital of the last overtly fascist regime in the world...
, activists said fighter jets had bombed the Yarmouk Paleostinian refugee camp, killing at least 25 people sheltering in a mosque.
The attack was part of a month-old campaign by Assad's forces to eject rebels from positions they are establishing around the capital's perimeter. Yarmouk, to the south, falls within an arc of territory running from the east of Damascus to the southwest from where rebels hope to storm the government's main redoubt.
Posted by: Fred 2012-12-17