Syrian Army defectors attack base near Damascus

Syrian Army defectors on Wednesday launched several attacks on President Bashar Assad`s military bases near the capital Damascus.

Updated: Nov 17, 2011, 08:59 AM IST

Beirut: Syrian Army defectors said they
launched several attacks Wednesday on President Bashar Assad`s military bases near the capital Damascus, including one on a Syrian intelligence facility, the latest in stepped-up
assaults by the renegade troops targeting the regime`s forces.

The Free Syrian Army said in a statement that its main
attack in the early hours today targeted a compound run by the
Air Force Intelligence in the Damascus suburb of Harasta.

The renegade group said the other attacks targeted military
checkpoints in the Damascus suburbs of Douma, Qaboun and
Arabeen and Saqba.

The claim of the attacks could not be independently
confirmed and the Free Syrian Army released no details about
the fighting or possible casualties.
The Syrian government has largely sealed off the country,
barring most foreign journalists and preventing independent
reporting. But details gathered by activist groups and
witnesses, along with the amateur videos, have become key
channels of information.

The attacks near Damascus are rare, and clashes between
defectors and troops have in the past been concentrated in the
northwestern province of Idlib and central region of Homs and
the southern province of Daraa.
The attacks come two days after defectors killed 34 of
Assad`s soldiers and members of the security in Daraa, on what
was one of the bloodiest days of the 8-month-old uprising.

The UN says that more than 3,500 people have been killed
since Assad launched a crackdown on the protesters in