More than 200 killed as heavy fighting rocks Damascus and Aleppo

More than 200 killed as heavy fighting rocks Damascus and Aleppo

Aleppo : Syria | Jul 22, 2012 at 9:33 AM PDT
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Over 200 killed as heavy fighting rocks Damascus and Aleppo

The Syrian army has launched several assaults to regain control on neighborhoods of Damascus and Aleppo, Syria's largest city. On Sunday morning, clashes between the troops and the rebels continued in these two cities, according to activists.

"There were clashes near the main intelligence base in Aleppo. Battles also raged in other parts of Syrian's main commercial and industrial hub as well," opposition activists in Aleppo told Alarabiya news.

In Damascus, where the army has regained ground Friday, clashes are concentrated in neighborhoods and orchards of Barze and Mazze. An explosion was heard in the area of Mazze, and in the center of Damascus, as security forces have intensified their presence, inspecting cars and checking identities.

According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR), Syrian troops backed by tanks launched an assault on the neighborhood of Barze (north) and violent clashes are taking place.

Elsewhere in the country, government forces hammered the major eastern city of Deir al-Zor with artillery and mortar fire. Helicopters fired rockets in the residential districts in an attempt to prevent opposition forces from taking over the city, witnesses said.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights reported that over 115 people have been killed by regime forces on Saturday while violence on Sunday killed at least 92 people in Aleppo.

Meanwhile, Free Syrian Army controlled several border crossings with Iraq and Turkey, which are vital for the supply of weapons. And while the rebels seem to have stalled in the capital, they took control of several border crossings.

To the east, they now control two of the three main crossing points between Iraq and Syria, including Boukamal and Yaribiyah.

To the north, the rebels already have controlled since Friday the border crossings between Turkey and Syria, including the Bab al-Hawa. On Saturday, about 150 fighters took over this position, reported AFP. They were equipped with Kalashnikov assault rifles, rocket launchers and heavy artisanal mines.

In contrast, in the south, the Free Syrian Army tried unsuccessfully to take control of a border crossing with Jordan, a senior Jordanian official, said.

To the West, the border with Lebanon is now under the complete control of the Syrian army.

In a related development, French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, called to be prepared for the period after Bashar al-Assad's downfall and hoped the rapid formation of a provisional government" which should be "representative of the diversity of Syrian society."

Furthermore, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he was sending his peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous and top military adviser General Babacar Gaye to Syria to assess the situation as the Syrian government had failed to protect civilians.


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Over 200 killed as heavy fighting rocks Damascus and Aleppo1
Shelling in Damascus Photo: Reuters
saleh1966 is based in Gaza, Ġazzah, Palestine, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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