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Recent fighting between government forces and Syrian rebellion battle for Damascus began 1707124


Conflict in the World - Syria

Tuesday, July 17, 2012, 05:44 PM
With the recent fighting between government forces and Syrian rebellion battle for Damascus began

Syrian rebels fired grenades at tanks and troops while regime armour shelled Damascus neighbourhoods, sending terrified families fleeing the most sustained and widespread fighting in the capital since the start of the uprising 16 months ago.

"The battle for Damascus is coming," said Abdulhameed Zakaria, a Syrian army colonel and doctor who defected and joined the opposition Free Syrian Army in Istanbul.

Video from the capital on Monday, July 16, 2012, showed regime tanks in some streets and clashes with members of the opposition.

Another video shows rebel fighters facing off against what appears to be a tank in the southern Damascus neighborhood of Tadamon, firing rifles, a heavy machine gun and a rocket-propelled grenade. They shoot at it repeatedly from behind a barricade down a rubble-strewn street, only to have a man tell them to stop wasting ammunition.

Antigovernment activists on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, reported a third day of street battles in the Syrian capital of Damascus as rebels fought Syrian Army forces in several restive neighborhoods near the edge of the old city.

Activists in the northern Damascus suburb of Qaboun said the Syrian forces were backed by helicopter gunships, an apparent hardening of the government’s response to urban fighting that has spread toward central Damascus and the seat of President Bashar al-Assad’s power.

The Free Syrian Army in Damascus issued a statement saying its forces will spread its attacks around the city, describing the clashes as “the volcano of Damascus and the earthquake of Syria.” Many activists have described the Damascus battle as “the beginning of the end.”
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