AMMAN (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad’s forces bombarded the southeast of Damascus with air strikes and artillery on Wednesday to try and dislodge rebel fighters who have gained a foothold in the Syrian capital, opposition activists said.
A Middle East diplomat following the military situation described battles in and around Damascus as a “major engagement”, with fighting going back and forth between the two sides.
AMMAN, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Syrian opposition fighters
captured a military airport near the northern city of Aleppo on
Tuesday in another military setback for President Bashar
al-Assad’s forces which have come under intensifying attack
across the country.
The airport is the latest military facility to fall under
rebel control in a strategic region situated between Syria’s
industrial and commercial centre and the country’s oil- and
wheat-producing heartland to the east.
AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian opposition fighters captured a military airport near the northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday in another military setback for President Bashar al-Assad’s forces which have come under intensifying attack across the country.
The airport is the latest military facility to fall under rebel control in a strategic region situated between Syria’s industrial and commercial centre and the country’s oil- and wheat- producing heartland to the east.
AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Rebels have captured Syria’s biggest hydro-electric dam and battled army tank units near the center of Damascus, activists said as the opposition renewed an offer on Monday to negotiate the departure of President Bashar al-Assad.
On the Turkish border, nine people were killed when a car arriving from rebel-held territory in northwestern Syria blew up at the Reyhanli frontier crossing; Turkish officials said it was unclear whether the blast was a suicide attack or an accident.
AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian National Coalition leader Moaz Alkhatib said on Sunday he was willing to hold peace talks with President Bashar al-Assad’s representatives in rebel-held areas of northern Syria.
The aim of the talks would be to find a way for Assad to leave power with the “minimum of bloodshed and destruction”, Alkhatib said in a statement published on his Facebook page.
AMMAN (Reuters) – The head of Lebanon’s Maronite Church evoked his country’s long civil war to condemn the futility of conflict, on the second day of a controversial visit to Syria’s war-ravaged capital Damascus.
At a Sunday mass broadcast live on Syrian state television, Patriarch Beshara al-Rai appeared to dismiss the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad’s 13-year rule as not worth the bloodshed.
AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian government forces battled on Friday to recapture sections of the Damascus ring road from rebels pressing in on the capital, opposition activists said.
War planes fired rockets around Jobar, Qaboun and Barzeh neighbourhoods, the sources said. Heavy fighting was taking place at the Hermalleh junction on the ring road just south of Jobar, which had been seized by the rebels.
AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian rebels battled army units for control of districts of Damascus for a second day on Thursday, part of a rebel offensive which aims to shake President Bashar al-Assad’s hold on the capital, a rebel captain and opposition activists said.
Units of Assad’s elite Republican Guard based on the imposing Qasioun Mountain overlooking the city fired artillery rounds and rockets at the eastern neighborhood of Jobar and at the southern ring road, where rebels have overrun roadblocks and army positions, the sources said.
AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian rebels battled Bashar al-Assad’s forces on the edge of central Damascus on Wednesday, opposition activists said, seeking to break his grip over districts leading to the heart of the capital.
Their offensive aims to break a stalemate in the city of two million people, where artillery and air strikes have prevented opposition fighters entrenched to the east from advancing despite their capture of army fortifications, the activists said.
AMMAN (Reuters) – Members of the opposition Syrian National Coalition have called for an emergency meeting to discuss a controversial proposal by its head to negotiate with President Bashar al-Assad’s government, opposition sources said.
Sheikh Moaz Alkhatib, the moderate Islamic cleric who leads the 70-member assembly, said he would be ready to meet Assad’s ceremonial deputy Farouq al-Shara if Assad fulfils conditions including the release of tens of thousands of political prisoners.