Damascus Hit by Clashes after Key Rebel Gain, Says NGO
[An Nahar] The outskirts of the Syrian capital were rocked by festivities early on Saturday a day after rebels seized a key regime airbase in the north, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Britannia-based watchdog said two children and two men were killed when Mleha just southeast of Damascus
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was bombarded, and that two rebels battling forces loyal to Hereditary President-for-Life Bashir
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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 maimed 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 cut-throats killed when bully boyz 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.
Posted by: Fred 2013-01-13