21 February 2018

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01/30/2012 SYRIA

Assad troops recapture Damascus suburbs after two days of fighting

The suburb of Ghouta, seven miles from the capital’s center, was in the hands of rebels the of the Free Syrian Army. Fighting all over the country after the withdrawal of the Arab League on January 29. UN Security Council to discuss Syria.

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Syrian army has taken control of a suburb east of the capital formerly in the hands of Free Syrian Army rebels. Activists say that the army bombed the districts occupied by the deserters, and that 26 people from both sides lost their lives in what has probably been the hardest fighting since the beginning of the uprising in March 2011. Throughout Syria 60 people died over Saturday and Sunday, after the Arab League decided to withdraw its observers. The Syrian government announced that 16 soldiers were killed in separate attacks by the rebels.

The area concerned is Ghouta, where there have been many demonstrations against the Assad regime. According to the activists, who claim to have made a tactical retreat, about two thousand soldiers and 50 armored vehicles invaded Ghouta and other neighborhoods in Kfar Batna, Saqba, Jisreen and Arbeen. "It is urban warfare. There are bodies in the streets, "said a rebel, speaking from a neighborhood that is little more than seven kilometers from the city center. During the fighting the mosques were turned into field hospitals.

Rami Abdul Rahman, from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in London, said that it was the "most intense fighting near the capital since demonstrations began," and he added: "The Syrian regime is trying to finish the uprising militarily now that the case is being taken to the United Nations". We must remember that the news coming from Syria can not be independently verified because foreign journalists have very limited access to the country.

The escalation in the fighting pushed the Arab League to suspend the work of its observers on January 29. Arab foreign ministers, who asked the Syrian regime to create a government of national unity, will discuss the developments of the crisis on February 5. The Secretary of the Arab League, Nabil al-Araby has left for New York to inform members of the UN Security Council tomorrow, and to seek support for an Arab peace plan. Al-Araby said he hoped to overcome the resistance of Moscow and Beijing and get their support to the plan of the League.

See also

04/01/2012 SYRIA
Syrian crisis: Armed opposition threatens civil war
Frustration is building over Arab League observers mission and its inability to stop the violence. This Saturday, League foreign ministers will meet. Head of Free Syrian Army Riad al-Asaad said his group would “escalate its operations” and make a “transformative shift” in the struggle.

11/05/2012 SYRIA
UN condemns Damascus bombings. Regime and rebels must end violence
The final toll is 55 dead and more than 400 injured. Even China and Russia condemn the attack and call for respect of the ceasefire proposed by Kofi Annan.

07/04/2015 SYRIA
UN calls for humanitarian access to the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp
The situation for the camp’s 18,000 refugees has been described as "beyond inhumane". Once opposed to Assad, the camp has seen groups realign with al-Nusra side with the Islamic State group, and Palestinians and the Free Syrian Army work with the Syrian army.

28/12/2011 SYRIA
Syrians disappointed by Arab League observers who find the situation in Homs reassuring
Observers do not find anything “frightening” in the city even though 30 people were killed there in the past three days. Human Rights Watch says prisoners are being moved to military bases off limits to Arab League monitors who travelled today to Deraa, Idleb, Hama and locations around Damascus.

09/04/2013 SYRIA
Damascus denies entry to UN inspection team
For Syrian authorities, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's request to have a team investigate the alleged use of chemical weapons would constitute a "violation of Syrian sovereignty". In Aleppo, a strange alliance forms among anti-government forces.

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