First Published: 2012-12-07

 

Syria army boosts reinforcements in Damascus

 

Activists fear imminent ground assault on Damascus outskirts as large military reinforcements are deployed.

 

Middle East Online

Major assault is being prepared

BEIRUT - Syrian activists fear a new ground assault Friday on Damascus suburbs where military reinforcements poured in as fighting and bombing raged on the outskirts and south of the capital, a watchdog said.

"The army bombed orchards surrounding Daraya where military reinforcements are heading," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, citing activists on the ground.

"Moadamiyet al-Sham was also violently pounded and large reinforcements were deployed apparently to attack the town," said the watchdog which gathers information from a network of activists and medics across the country.

For several days the air and artillery bombardments have focused on these areas raising fears of an imminent ground assault.

In Damascus itself, the southern districts were bombarded by regime troops, the Observatory said, after shelling and fighting between rebels and soldiers throughout the night in several suburbs.

The city's outskirts are at the heart of the fighting where the regime has launched an operation to reclaim territory within eight kilometres (five miles) of the capital which analysts say it wants to retain in a bid to negotiate a solution to the conflict.

In the north, rebels besieged Menegh military airport which they struck with mortars as electricity was cut off in most parts in Aleppo province, the Observatory said.

Gunfire and explosions were also heard in the province of Daraa in the south, and Banias along the Mediterranean coast, it added.

The Observatory said 77 people were killed on Thursday across the country, half of them in Damascus and its suburbs.

The violence in Syria has so far left more than 42,000 people dead, mostly civilians, since the beginning of the protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad nearly 21 months ago.

 

Saudi delegation in Israel to promote stalled peace initiative

Air raids jeopardise much-needed medical care in Aleppo

Libya loyalists seize ISIS bomb factory in Sirte

Tunisia dissident, Mohsen Marzouk, opens new party congress

Iran destroys 100,000 ‘morally damaging’ satellite dishes

ISIS suicide bomber kills at least 15 in northern Baghdad

Turkey readies first cross-party rally to condemn coup

At least 61 people dead as ISIS claims twin blasts in Kabul

Iraq PM seeks to speed up death penalty implementation

Munich shooting had 'obvious link' to Breivik, not ISIS

EgyptAir flight broke up in midair after fire, evidence suggests

Palestinian village could soon cease to exist

Coalition warplanes strike Qaeda positions in southern Yemen

Turkey extends police powers, shutters over 1,000 private schools

Libya ‘NATO revolutionaries’ urge fight against French troops

Germany probes motives of 'lone' Munich mass killer

Russian warplanes targeted US, British outpost in Syria

Syrians harness Pokemon frenzy to depict their plight

Bodies of 14 'executed' people found in Libya's Benghazi

UN to help Turkey bolster tourism sector

France to supply weapons to Iraqi army

Turkey tensions fester in Germany

Israel official on first visit to Chad in 40 years

EU condemns 'unacceptable' Turkey purges

Iran stops 'terrorist infiltration' from Turkey

Moscow restarts air travel to Turkey

Assad says Erdogan is 'implementing his own extremist agenda'

Egypt's Sisi says 'serious efforts' made in Palestine peace process

43 civilians dead as regime bombards rebel-held areas in Syria

UN pleads for weekly 48-hour truce in Syria's Aleppo

Kuwait upholds death for Iran spy cell 'mastermind'

Iran arrests 40 over 'terrorist' plots

US-backed forces give IS '48 hours' to leave Syria's Manbij

Syria activists urge protests over deadly coalition raids

Kuwait issues ultimatum to Yemen negotiators

Turkey coup plotters go on trial in Greece

Mali renews state of emergency after deadly attack

Turkish President declares 3-month state of emergency

Libya unity govt blasts French military presence

Erdogan critics fear what may come next

ISIS bomb kills 4 in Yemen's Aden

Outrage after Syrian rebel group beheads child

Israel parliament passes law allowing expulsion of Palestinian MPs

Europol warns 'Lone wolf' terror attacks hard to track

Turkey blocks WikiLeaks email dump on ruling party