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Syria army defectors attacked for the first time a military base in Harasta near Damascus 1611114.

| 2011

Defense News - Syria

Wednesday, November 16, 2011, 02:09 PM
Syria army defectors attacked for the first time a military base in Harasta near Damascus.
Syrian army defectors members of the Free Syrian Army's (FSA) have attacked a major military base near Damascus, Syrian opposition groups say.Parts of the notorious Air Force Intelligence building in Harasta were reported to have been destroyed, but there were no reports of casualties.

It would be the Free Syrian Army's (FSA) most high-profile attack since Syria's anti-government protests began. The Syrian National Council (SNC) - a coalition of opposition groups which is based in Turkey - said the attack on the Harasta base had been carried out by the FSA.

The attack came ahead of an Arab League meeting to discuss ways of ending the bloodshed. Army defectors have carried out a number of attacks on military targets in recent weeks but this would be their most audacious so far.

Activists said the defectors had attacked the building from three sides. Helicopters - most likely government-operated - were reported to have been hovering around the area.

Turkey, which is not a member but will be attending the meeting, has said Syria will "pay a high price" for its actions.

The Syrian government has severely restricted access for foreign journalists, and reports of violence are extremely difficult to verify.

The UN says more than 3,500 people have died since protests started in March. The Syrian authorities blame the violence on armed gangs and militants.

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