82 dead in Syria fighting
[Beirut Daily Star] Violence raged in flashpoints again across Syria Friday, with at least 82 people killed, according to a preliminary count from the Britannia-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights opposition group.

Syrian rebels attacked an air defense base protecting a military industrial compound in Al-Safira in the country's north, as anti-government forces pushed forward in efforts to capture wider areas near the border with Turkey, an activist group said.

The Observatory said seven rebels were killed in the attack.

The town is home to a complex of military factories and lies just south of the city of 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...
The rebels tried to storm the base but were pushed back, only to later shell some of the military factories, Observatory chief Rami Abdulrahman said.

The Observatory and other activists said rebels launched a wave of attacks on military checkpoints and posts in the central province of Hama.

An amateur video posted online by activists showed rebels tearing down Syrian and Paleostinian flags from a checkpoint in the strategic village of Morek, along the Damascus
...The place where Pencilneck hangs his brass hat...
-Aleppo highway. Regime troops usually raise the Paleostinian flag on their posts. Abdulrahman said the military plants in Al-Safira are surrounded by army bases and posts to protect them. He said Friday's festivities came three days after rebels captured a military warehouse in the area. It was later bombed by Syrian warplanes, killing nearly two dozen rebels.

In Aleppo, Syrian rebels fired warning shots at an airliner preparing to take off from Aleppo airport in the first direct attack on a civilian flight, a rebel commander said, warning that all civilian flights would now be considered targets. The commander, who gave his name only as Khaldoun, told Rooters by Skype that snipers from his brigade had hit the wheels of Syrian Airways flight RB201 Thursday.

"Those were warning shots," he said. "We wanted to send a message to the regime that all their planes -- military and civilian -- are within our reach."

Rebels accuse the government of using civilian aircraft to transport weapons and Iranian fighters they say are helping Assad's forces. Insurgents have cut off many of the road links to Aleppo, Syria's biggest city.
Posted by: Fred 2012-12-22