Thursday, July 26, 2012

Syrian Revolution News Round-up

Day 496: Sunday, 22 July 2012 

Damascus under heavy bombardment as clashes in Aleppo intensify

Top Stories:

Heavy clashes in Aleppo intensified as the rebels launched an operation to free the city of any regime presence.
Regime forces intensified its military offensive in Damascus regaining control in some neighbourhoods.
Regime forces killed more than 140 people today.

Summary of Events

Heavy clashes intensified in Aleppo as the rebels launched an operation to seize control of the city. The fighting spread into the neighbourhoods of Saif Adola, Sakhour, Saladin, Masaken Hanano, Maidan, al-Bab Road, Sheikh Najar and Haidariya. Regime forces used helicopter gunships and heavy weaponry prompting a mass exodus from the city.

Rebels continued to hold ground in the suburbs, this time seizing control of Salama border-crossing with Turkey. Regime forces responded by surrounding the crossing with dozens of military tanks and launched heavy attacks with helicopters in an attempt to regain control.

In Damascus, the elite 4th division of the Republican Guard, backed by military helicopters invaded the neighbourhood of Barzeh following a suffocating siege and heavy bombardment that left scores of civilians dead and many more wounded. Regime forces also raided the al-Ikhals groves in Mazeh neighbourhood, torching scores of houses and commercial establishments, deploying snipers on rooftops and imposing a curfew. Heavy clashes also occurred in the Damascus-Daraa international road in Qadam neighbourhood. Meanwhile, more than 25 corpses were discovered in the disaster-impacted neighbourhood of Qabun.

Regime forces killed more than 140 people today; ten were killed as the heavy clashes and bombardment continued in the neighbourhood of Bab Sebaa in Homs and its provincial towns of Rastan, Talbiseh and Qasir amid fears that the regime may perpetrate a new massacre against civilians. Seventeen died in the capital while fifteen more died in its provincial towns of Hameh and Damir because of the heavy shelling. Six more were killed due to the heavy clashes that occurred in the neighbourhood of Sakhour in Aleppo city and its provincial towns of Ezaz and Kasibiya. Nine died in the province of Idlib as a result of the massive military offensive against the towns of Sarmin, Males and Ariha. Thirteen more were killed in neighbourhoods of Central Daraa and Mahatta in the city of Daraa and its provincial towns of Inkhel, Sanamin, Sahwa, Ataman and Khirbet Ghazaleh. Eight died as a result of the heavy shelling that targeted the neighbourhoods of Hamidiya, Ommal, Khasarat, Joura and Howaika in Deir Azzour city and the cities of Boukamal and Kasra in the province of Deir Azzour. Additionally, three were killed in the province of Hama and more than twenty-four soldiers from the regime were killed during heavy clashes in the provinces of Aleppo, Idlib, Deir Azzour, Homs and the suburb of Damascus.

Regime forces continued its attacks in civilian areas of the Damascus suburbs of Daraya, al-Tal, Qodseya, Zabadani, Jedaydet Artouz, Yabroud, Haran Awamid, Hameh, Moadamiya, Sayeda Zainaba, Thiabiya and Hajar Aswad, in the villages of Rabea and Shahroura in Latakia suburb, in the neighbourhoods of Khaldiya, Jouret Sheyah, Qarabis, Baba Amr, Ghanto and Jobar in Homs and its provincial towns of Qasir, Za’faraneh, Makramiya, Ghernatta and Krak des Chevaliers, in the village of Sahl al-Ghab district in the province of Hama, and in the districts of Sahl al-Rouj and Azzawiya mountain in the province of Idlib and its provincial towns of Sarmin, Sarjeh and Armanaz.

The mounting violence in the country, in particular in the capital Damascus, has led thousands of civilians to flee the country over the past days to take up refuge in neighbouring countries, up to 30,000 Syrians have fled into Lebanon over the past 48 hours, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Daily defections from the regime continued as a group of police officers and military officers joined the ranks of the rebels today.

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