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Regime troops shell areas on edge of Syrian capital

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 09:20

Beirut (Lebanon): Syrian troops on Tuesday shelled rebel strongholds on the edge of Damascus from multiple rocket launchers based on hilltops while new clashes erupted in an intensifying battle for control over Aleppo`s international airport and nearby military bases, activists said.

The thud of artillery and mortars reverberated across the capital from the fighting in the northeastern neighbourhoods of Jobar and rebel-held areas south of Damascus. Activists said several people were wounded.

Rebels trying to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad have stepped up mortar attacks on Damascus in recent weeks, striking deeper than ever into the heart of the city. Rebel fighters tried in the past to establish bridgeheads in Damascus but were pushed back to the suburbs by regime forces.

In northern Syria, rebels renewed a push to capture Aleppo`s international airport and nearby air bases as part of their campaign to erode the regime`s air supremacy in the 2-year-old conflict.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said clashes erupted around the airport, and rebels also intensified their assault on the Nairab and Mannagh air bases near the strategic facility, which has not been handling fights for weeks because of the fighting.

Fighting also flared up along the road that links the capital, Damascus, to the country`s biggest airport and raged for a second day in the central city of Homs as rebels tried to take back the impoverished neighbourhood of Baba Amr, which they lost to Assad`s troops a year ago.


First Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2013 - 09:19
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