Syrian Regime Batters Rebels in Attempt to Secure Damascus

World | December 3, 2012, Monday // 13:12|  views

A handout picture released by Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows a Syrian army soldier taking up position during clashes with armed rebels in Darayah area, southern rural Damascus, Syria, 02 December 2012. EPA/BGNES

Syrian regime troops have bombed rebel positions in the capital Damascus on Monday in an attempt to secure their positions in the city.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said artillery gunners targeted the districts of Hajar al-Aswad and Tadamun as well as the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmuk in southern Damascus.

The army also bombarded Yabrud to the north, Yalda to the south and the Eastern Ghouta towns of Douma, Harasta, Irbin and Haran al-Hawamid, in the area of the road linking Damascus to its international airport, it said.

Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have been trying to establish a secure perimeter around Damascus at all costs, turning the province into one of the main battlegrounds in the country's 20-month conflict, international media point out.

Analysts say the objective of the military campaign is to put the regime in a position to negotiate a way out of the conflict that the Observatory says has cost more than 41,000 lives since March 2011.

In the meantime, Russian President Vladimir Putin was to meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a landmark visit to Istanbul to discuss their differences on Syria.

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Tags: Syria, civil war, Syrian opposition, Syrian rebels, Bashar Al-Assad, Syrian president, Damascus, Russia, turkey, Istanbul, Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President, Turkish Prime Minister


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