The rebel Free Syrian Army said on Sunday that it now controlled most of the country, a day after it moved its command centers from Turkey to "liberated areas," inside Syria.
Meanwhile, troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad shelled the provinces of Aleppo and Daraa even after the rebels made the announcement and continued efforts to free Damascus.
Today’s shelling of Aleppo in the north and Daraa in the south followed battles across Syria that the opposition Local Coordination Committees said left 220 people dead yesterday. Sixty-six of those were killed as Assad’s forces intensified an artillery bombardment and airstrikes targeting Damascus and its suburbs, while 60 died in Aleppo, the group said in an e-mailed statement. Syrian Red Crescent teams recovered more than 40 bodies after the Air Force bombed the Hama neighborhood of Mashaa al-Arbaeen yesterday, Al Jazeera television reported.
“The Free Syrian Army’s command center has entered liberated areas” of Syria “to start plans to liberate Damascus soon,” FSA Commander Colonel Riad al-Assad said yesterday in a video statement posted on the Internet. He didn’t give the location or details of the facility.
United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who was appointed to revive the UN’s peace efforts in Syria, said the crisis could spread regionally if the bloodshed isn’t contained, according to a Sept. 20 interview with Al Arabiya television. More than 26,000 people have died since the conflict between Assad’s opponents and the military began in March 2011, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The rebels said they shot down an Air Force MiG warplane yesterday in the northern province of Idlib, Al Arabiya television reported, citing activists.
Syria’s official news agency, SANA, said yesterday that troops destroyed one of the headquarters of “terrorists” in Aleppo, killing 20 people and injuring 10.
Troops clashed with rebels near the town of Nasib along the border with Jordan, the Associated Press reported. Jordan’s border guards arrested militants yesterday after an exchange of gunfire, the state-run Jordanian news agency Petra reported.
© Copyright 2013 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.