Syrian Rebels Control Air Defense Battery After Battle

Syrian rebels clashed with armed forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad near Idlib’s Taftanaz military airport after taking control of an air defense battery in the city, an opposition group said.

Battles between the rebel Free Syrian forces and government troops today involving the battery killed nine people, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. At least 200 people died in violence across Syria yesterday, the group said.

Government forces loyal to al-Assad killed 4,532 civilians in October, an average of 147 people a day, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said in an e-mailed statement.

Russia, which continues to work with the Syrian regime, said yesterday that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s proposal for the opposition to search for new leaders to gain wider support is encouraging an “uncompromising” struggle to topple Assad. At least 35,000 people have been killed during the 19-month uprising, according to the U.K.-based group.

Syrian warplanes raided parts of the suburbs in the capital, Damascus, early today and engaged with rebel forces in Daraa and Homs, the Observatory group also said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Dahlia Kholaif in Kuwait at dkholaif@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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