Syrian Army Hits Aleppo; Car-Bomb Explodes Near Damascus
Syrian warplanes bombarded targets in the city of Aleppo and surrounding regions, as a car-bomb exploded in Jaramana near the capital, Damascus.
Government forces killed 250 people across the country yesterday, including 62 in Aleppo, the opposition Local Coordination Committees said in an e-mailed statement. A total of 60 were in Daraa, including 43 people found in a mass grave in al-Hirak town, and 36 in and around Damascus, the LCC said.
Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have struggled to maintain security in the capital after rebels pushed into neighborhoods in July. A bomb attack in Damascus that month killed key members of Assad’s military establishment, including his brother-in-law, Major General Assef Shawkat and Defense Minister Dawoud Rajhah.
The town of al-Bab in Aleppo province came under aerial attack and several neighborhoods inside Aleppo city were also targeted, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The group reported five people killed and at least 27 injured by the Jaramana bomb, and said there was fighting in the mountains near Latakia.
The battle for control of Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city, and Damascus intensified last month as United Nations monitors pulled out of the country after failing to implement a cease- fire negotiated by envoy Kofi Annan. Syria will cooperate with Annan’s successor, Lakhdar Brahimi, Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi told state television yesterday.
The success of Brahimi’s effort to find a political solution will depend on Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the U.S., all of which have backed the opposition fighting to remove Assad, Zoubi said. There will be no dialogue with rebels until they put down their weapons, he said.
Security forces killed 16 people execution-style in the Damascus neighborhood of Qabun, al-Jazeera reported, citing activists. Troops loyal to Assad stormed the village of Faraya in Hama and killed 21 people, most of them with knives, according to the LCC.
More than 23,000 people have died since the uprising against Assad began in March 2011, according to the Observatory.
The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory and the LCC, a network of activists within the country, are among several groups opposed to Assad’s government. Due to restrictions on journalists entering and traveling within Syria, Bloomberg was unable to independently verify their reports.
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