Fri, August 24, 2012
World > Middle East > 2012 Syrian Situation

Incessant clashes sweep Syria

2012-08-23 18:12:18 GMT2012-08-24 02:12:18(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

UN vehicles transport members of the United Nations observers mission out of Damascus as they leave Syria August 23, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

DAMASCUS, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Incessant clashes continued Thursday in several Syrian cities, most notably in the capital Damascus and northern Aleppo province while Syria's deputy foreign minister hurled accusation against Turkey for its support for what he called terrorism in Syria.

Severe clashes between the armed rebels and the government troops took place Thursday in the Damascus' suburbs of Mu'adamieh and Dareyya. Also, Syria's state media said the army has inflicted hefty toll on the armed fighters in the Babbila suburb of Damascus and elsewhere.

The clashes in the capital renewed after a relatively long lull, as the opposition seem to have waged fresh assaults in the city to alleviate the pressure off their fighters battling in Aleppo.

In Aleppo, a key area and commercial hub, clashes have been raging on for more than a month with both conflicting sides determined to spread full sway on the crucial area.

It's noteworthy that the state media said the residents in Aleppo are helping the government troops in their operations against the opposition fighters.

People in some restive areas seem to have got fed up with the rebels, who are storming some populated areas and trying to entrench there and draw the fighting to those places.

Meanwhile, the state-run new agency SANA said the army has carried out a delicate operation at al-Mawada street in Aleppo, killing a number of armed men and injuring others.

It also mounted an offensive against armed men in the Hanano area of the northern province, reports said.

On the opposition side, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the neighborhoods of Bustan al-Qasr, Sleiman al-Halabi, al-Sha'ar, al-Helk and several parts of Salahuddien in Aleppo are still being bombarded by the government forces.

In Damascus, the Observatory said violent clashes took place in the Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood between the government and rebel forces, adding that the neighborhood was bombarded at dawn Thursday.

In the al-Qadam neighborhood, the Observatory said the rebel fighters attacked a military checkpoint on the Daraa-Damascus highway, adding that 10 soldiers were either killed or wounded.

In the outskirts of Damascus, the Observatory said intense clashes are taking place in the area surrounding Dareyya suburb between rebel fighters and members of the Syrian military.

It said the government troops are trying to storm Dareyya from the nearby orchards of Razi and that the area is suffering from bombardment from the tanks spread out at its entrances.

The Observatory also said the farms in the town of Rankous, just outside Damascus, have been under government bombardment since Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, the Local Coordination Committees (LCC), another activists' network, said the government forces have waged an offensive on the Aisha river area, which is filled up with rebels.

It said a huge blast was heard from al-Mujtahed district in Damascus.

The LCC also reported violence in a number of Syrian cities, adding that as many as 125 people have been killed so far, while the Observatory placed the death toll at 70.

The activists' report couldn't be accurately checked.

Earlier in the day, Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad renewed accusation of Turkey over what he described as helping the "terrorists" in Syria.

He said one of the aspects "that have fuelled this crisis" is the "support by regional circles, including the dangerous support by Turkey," adding that the regional countries are providing the rebels with sophisticated weapons.

On the appointment of Lakhdar Brahimi as the new UN envoy to Syria, Mikdad said that "we accept his appointment and we are looking forward to working together with him and to see what ideas he is carrying for potential solutions for the problem here."

Mikdad said Thursday his country is expecting news from the UN about next step's details after the expiry of the UN Supervision Mission in Syria.

"The next step is the resumption of UN presence in Syria in different ways and we are expecting news from the secretariat in the coming few days," Mikdad told reporters.

Mikdad made the remarks after meeting with Gen. Babacar Gaye, head of the expired UN mission.

The four-month UN observer mission in Syria expired last week. The UN agreed to establish a civilian office in Damascus to keep a foothold in Syria, which is seemingly veering towards a fully- fledged civil war.

The UN Security Council has also appointed Algerian Lakhdar Brahimi as new special envoy to Syria to replace Kofi Annan, who declared his resignation earlier this month due to the incessant violence.

Mikdad further said he is always optimistic that the crisis in Syria should end.


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