Assad's forces shell Damascus rebel stronghold, 4 killed

AMMAN Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:59pm EDT

Damaged buildings are seen after an explosion on Sunday ripped through the northern Syrian city of Aleppo September 10, 2012. REUTERS/George Ourfalian

Damaged buildings are seen after an explosion on Sunday ripped through the northern Syrian city of Aleppo September 10, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/George Ourfalian

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AMMAN (Reuters) - At least four people were killed and dozens wounded on Tuesday in ground and aerial bombardments of one of the last rebel strongholds in the Syrian capital Damascus, opposition activists said.

Numerous buildings were hit by artillery and helicopter gunfire in Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood, they said. Footage posted on the Internet by activists showed holes in buildings and rubble strewn in alleyways.

Hajar al-Aswad is home to many Syrians who fled the Golan Heights in 1967 during the Six-Day War with Israel and many have now fled violence in the capital to return to villages near the border, 35 kms (22 miles) to the southwest.

The neighborhood is one of a series of Sunni Muslim districts on the edge of the capital that have been at the forefront of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, who belongs to the minority Alawite sect.

"Rebel operations from Hajar al-Assad had stopped, but today we saw the heaviest bombardment on the district in two months," said activist Abdallah Golan, from the opposition Damascus Media Center, speaking by phone from the scene.

Shelling was also reported on the southern Tadamon district, where rebels had pulled out, and the southern Damascus suburb of Yalda, other opposition campaigners said.

Government forces, backed by armor, artillery and air power, have attacked a dozen Sunni districts on the outskirts of Damascus in a campaign to put down the rebellion in the capital.

Activists and residents say the assaults have killed at least 2,000 people in the last two months and many were summarily executed after government troops made incursions in residential districts following ground and aerial bombarding.

(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Amman newsroom; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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Comments (3)
JonasCaldwell wrote:
What I see is rich sheiks from Emirates and Saudi Arabia swimming in gold, hunting birds, playing golf in green fields built in the desert (at the cost of millions of ryals or dirhams), building luxurious shopping centers, resorts and business buildings, while they co-finance (along with western companies and governments) chaos and disorder in Syria, Lybia, Egypt, Tunisia …

Sep 11, 2012 12:46pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
bobber1956 wrote:

All the Syrians, Lybians, Egyptians, and Tusisians have to do is just say no. But as long as they want to remain stupid, arrogant, and stiff necked some one will profit from it. I just wish there was some way I could come up with.

Sep 11, 2012 1:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Slammy wrote:
For my sarcasm of the day, Reuters must be wrong about this, the Syrian news service reported that Damascus was cleansed of all armed gangs months ago. How can there be fighting if there is no one to fight? Huh Reuters?

Now that they are targeting this neighborhood, the rebels should hit somewhere else. Never quit, you are winning… Go Sunni!

Sep 11, 2012 6:24pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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