05/20/2013 - #Syria - Dar’aa - Clashes between FSA and Assad forces
05/16/2013 - #Syria - Aleppo - Battle to release the prisoners at Aleppo central prison, heavy clashes
Syria rebels were early Wednesday battling regime troops inside the Minnigh military airport in the north of the country for the first time, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“The rebels, who have laid siege to the airport for months now, entered it for the first time around dawn,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
“Heavy fighting is still taking place this morning inside the grounds of the airport,” he said.
The rebels on Tuesday took a key military position outside the airport, in Aleppo province, which allowed them to launch a raid on the facility.
A group of regime-allied fighters who attempted to reach the airport to boost government troops there were intercepted by Kurdish fighters who killed nine of them, the Observatory said.
Rebel fighters have tried multiple times to take the Minnigh airport, a key military facility in Aleppo province.
Since the beginning of the year, rebel forces have been fighting what they call the “battle of the airports in Aleppo” in a bid to deprive the regime of a key supply route.
Rebels have set their sights on the Aleppo international airport, along with the Jarrah, Kwiyres, Minnigh and Nayrab military airports. They took the Jarrah military airport on February 12.
04/24/2013 - NOW
Syrian troops bombarded besieged districts of Homs on Thursday, as clashes raged for the fifth day a row in the “capital of the revolution” where 73 people have been killed since Sunday, a watchdog said.
The assault came as President Bashar al-Assad and Grand Mufti Ahmad Hassoun, the highest Sunni religious authority in the country, were shown on Syria TV attending prayers at a Damascus mosque to mark the Prophet Mohammed’s birthday.
Six rebels were killed by regime shelling and overnight firefights in the Jobar district of Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that 31 soldiers, 16 rebels and 26 civilians had died in violence there since Sunday.
The Syrian Revolution General Authority, a network of opposition activists on the ground, said regime troops used heavy artillery and clashed with the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) in an attempt to storm the west side of the city.
A focal point at the outbreak of the revolt in March 2011, Homs remains a key point of contention in the war between Assad’s regime and the rebels, who now hold large swathes of territory in the east and north.
For the past six months, loyalist troops have laid siege to several districts of Homs, including the Old City, leaving hundreds of families in dire humanitarian conditions, activists say.
“The Syrian regime has escalated its attack on Homs city and its environs in order to disperse the people on sectarian lines and achieve what it believes will be a final victory over Homs,” said the Syrian National Council (SNC), a major opposition bloc in exile.
“The regime uses the most heinous criminal methods against human beings… shelling with heavy weaponry, blocking off areas to prevent the bare necessities — food, medicine — from entering, sending in sectarian militia to wreak havoc and kill, and finishing with massacres of entire neighborhoods and villages.”
The SNC called for a nationwide rescue campaign, for the “FSA all over Syria to aid their comrades in Homs with equipment and men” and for aid agencies to give priority to the trapped and displaced people of Homs.
Elsewhere on Thursday, air raids targeted the town of Daraya near Damascus, the rebel-held town of Yabrud far to the northeast and Aqraba near the airport road to the southeast, as fighting raged around opposition bastions across the eastern outer belt of the capital, the Observatory said.
Warplanes raided Albu Kamal on the Iraqi border in the east, areas of Idlib in the northwest, Daraa in the south and Hama in the center as rebels clashed with troops near the Nayrab and Kweyris military airports in the northern province of Aleppo.
Fighting continued unabated in the northeast city of Ras al-Ain on the Turkish border, where 58 people have died over the past week amid clashes between hardline rebels and Kurdish fighters.
01/19/2013 - #Syria - Homs, Houla - FSA fighter firing his sniper rifle in clashes with Assad militia
The outskirts of the Syrian capital were rocked by clashes early on Saturday a day after rebels seized a key regime airbase in the north, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The Britain-based watchdog said two children and a man were killed when Mleha just southeast of Damascus was bombarded, and that two rebels battling forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad were also killed there.
The Observatory relies on a network of activists and medics on the ground in Syria when compiling its reports and death tolls. It said violence nationwide on Friday claimed the lives of 86 people, among them 30 civilians.
Regime artillery also opened up on Beit Sahem south of Damascus, as well as Jdaidet Artuz and Daraya to the southeast, the rights group said on Saturday.
It reported that regime air raids on Rastan in the central province of Homs caused casualties, without giving an immediate toll of the dead and wounded.
One rebel was also killed in clashes there, it added.
In the east of the country, a man was killed when artillery pounded Deir Ezzor, the Observatory said.
Among Friday’s casualties were nine rebels, eight soldiers and two regime militiamen killed when insurgents overran the key Taftanaz air base in one of their most important military gains to date.
Capturing Taftanaz, from which regime forces launched deadly helicopter gunship sorties, eases the pressure on rebels who already control vast swathes of Syria’s north and east.
“This is the largest airbase to be seized since the revolt began” nearly 22 months ago, the Observatory’s Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP on Friday.
Government forces managed to evacuate most of the 60 helicopters deployed there, leaving behind 20 that are no longer serviceable, the Observatory said.
The United Nations says that more than 60,000 people have died in the Syria conflict which began in mid-March 2011 with peaceful protests that quickly erupted into deadly violence in the wake of a harsh regime crackdown.
January 12, 2013
Syrian troops bombarded rebel bastions on the outskirts of Damascus before dawn on Tuesday while fighting erupted for control of the northwestern town of Mastuma, a watchdog said.
Troops shelled the towns of Maliha and Beit Saham to the southeast of the capital near the Damascus airport road and the town of Douma to the northeast, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
It said that army reinforcements were also arriving at Daraya in a bid to regain control of the town, where hundreds were killed in August in the bloodiest massacre of the 21-month conflict.
The Local Coordination Committees (LCC), a network of opposition activists on the ground, reported that Daraya and nearby Moadamiyet al-Sham came under heavy shelling from the elite Fourth Division and Brigade 105 stationed in the area.
A military source told AFP that a rocket-propelled-grenade hit an armoured troop carrier on Monday in the orchards west of Moadamiyet al-Sham, causing casualties.
Analysts say the Syrian regime is focused on maintaining its grip on the key axis stretching from Damascus to the central province of Homs and on to the coastal Alawite heartland after its forces were driven from large swaths of territory in the north and east by rebels.
The Observatory said that in the northwest province of Idlib, displaced residents of the town of Mastuma reported troops storming the area during the night, clashing with rebels and executing a number of local men.
A military source had earlier told AFP that the army drove rebels out of Mastuma, just south of Idlib city, with the support of a “special tasks battalion”.
The Observatory said fighting for control of the town was still raging.
“There were fierce clashes starting from last night and they are continuing this morning. For sure there were people killed in clashes and by execution but we are not sure how many,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
The residents said that snipers had been deployed throughout the town and that troops were stationed in the nearby Baath party camp, which according to the Observatory was turned into a military detention center in the summer of 2011.
Abdel Rahman noted that the detention center was a strategic target for its stores of tanks and weapons.
Elsewhere in the province, a military source said that clashes had erupted around the strategic Wadi Deif base, which has been under attack since opposition fighters took over the nearby town of Maaret al-Numan in early October.
Tuesday’s violence comes after 78 people were killed nationwide on Monday - 48 civilians, 18 rebels and 12 soldiers - according to the Observatory, which collects information from a network of medics and activists on the ground.
The United Nations estimates more than 60,000 people have been killed since a brutal crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces on peaceful protests 21 months ago stirred the violence.