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 warns of 'disastrous consequences' over US 9/11 law

3,800 Syrian civilians killed by Russian strikes in one year

World leaders attend Shimon Peres’ funeral

UN warns 100,000 people trapped in South Sudan town

Bulgaria approves full-face Islamic veil ban

Jordanians rally against gas deal with Israel

Israel pays Turkey $20 million compensation for Gaza flotilla raid

Egypt MP suggests university virginity tests

Morocco to speed repatriation of citizens in Germany illegally

Turkey opposition leader condemns Erdogan’s ‘coup against democracy’

French jets set off to join action as battle for Mosul looms

Moroccan left hopes to offer 'third way' at polls

Renault signs Iran auto venture

Saudi border guard killed, 3 civilians hurt by shelling from Yemen

Turkey issues warrants for judicial, prison staff

MSF warns Syria, Russia to stop ‘bloodbath’ in Aleppo

Russia waiting to see OPEC freeze deal details

Police raid Casablanca market after rumours of sex dolls

UN warns 700,000 will need aid once Mosul offensive starts

Saudi seeks oil leadership in economic pinch

Egypt court suspends block on island transfer to Saudi

Bid for international Yemen war probe fails at UN

UN warns 'hundreds' in Aleppo need medical evacuation

Palestinian president to attend Peres funeral

King Abdullah visits home of murdered writer

Amnesty accuses Sudan of using chemical arms against Darfur civilians

Bahrain says 9/11 bill will harm US

9/11 bill puts US, Saudi cooperation in question

UN envoy says Syria talks 'very difficult with bombs falling'

Erdogan says Moody's was 'bought' after downgrade

Erdogan: Turkey may need state of emergency for more than a year

Iraqi activist wins Norway rights prize

Kidnapped German woman, baby freed in Syria

Turkey stops Kurdish TV broadcasts

A year of bombing in Syria triggers limited interest in Russia

Obama defends refusal to use military force to end Syria civil war

US Congress overrides Obama's veto of Saudi 9/11 bill

OPEC agrees deal to cut oil output

Palestinians react to death of Peres

Poverty takes toll in rebel-held Yemen fishing village

Kerry threatens to end negotiations with Russia on Syria

Kuwaiti court scraps petrol price hike

Iraq requests more US troops to take on IS in Mosul

Airstrikes hit hospitals in rebel-held Aleppo

Iran nuclear chief says not worried about Trump