Air strike, clashes near Damascus: NGO


Lebanese Islamists gumen and residents carry a coffine of one of their colleague during three bodies arrive from Syria in Tripoli in northern Lebanon. Pic: Reuters

Syria: The Syrian military carried out an air strike on a suburb of the capital as rebels clashed with soldiers around the Damascus region on Monday, a monitoring group said.

"A fighter bomber carried out a raid on Daraya as rebels and soldiers fought on the ground, while artillery bombed Moadamiyet al-Sham," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, referring to two towns south of Damascus.

The Britain-based group said the air force also overflew Eastern Ghouta, an area where rebels have set up rear bases amid its orchards, it said.

The military has for several days bombarded rebel strongholds in the suburbs from ground and air, raising fears of a looming ground assault by the army to try to establish a secure cordon around the capital.

The Observatory also reported clashes and bombardment in the northern province of Aleppo, the central region of Homs and Deir Ezzor to the east where at least one rebel was killed.

Al-Watan newspaper, close to the government, said the army on Sunday "dealt heavy blows to Al-Nusra Front gunmen linked to the Al-Qaeda network in several regions of Damascus province and Aleppo".

Soldiers also attacked gunmen in the Tadamun and Hajar Aswad districts of southern Damascus, "killing or wounding dozens of them", it said.

Al-Watan said government forces had killed more than 5,000 rebels in Aleppo over the past month.

On Sunday, 94 people, mostly civilians, were killed in violence across Syria, with the Damascus area accounting for 37 of the deaths, said the Observatory, which relies on a network of activists and medics for its information.


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