Friday, February 8, 2013

Clashes erupt in Damascus as prospects for Syrian talks dim

Syrian koranimals attacked military checkpoints and other targets in parts of central Damascus on Wednesday, antigovernment activist groups reported, shattering a lull in the fighting as prospects for any talks between the antagonists appeared to dim
In a day of conflicting reports about the severity of the clashes, residents spoke of heavy bombardments of sunni koranderthal positions by government tank cannons, the thud of mortar fire, roads closed and snipers on rooftops as forces loyal to President Basher al-Assad deployed in strength, particularly to protect neighborhoods where wealthy Syrians and diplomats live. Some said the fighting was the most intense in the city since July
A 50-year-old resident of the upscale Abu Roumana district, who identified himself as Abu Mahound, said he could hear the sound of fighting nearby. “It is very close and I feel it is next to my house,” he said. If government were unable to contain rebels in heavily guarded neighborhoods like his, he said, “what about other districts and suburbs?”

Some antigovernment activists described the resumption of fighting, which had lapsed for the past few weeks, as part of a renewed effort by koranimal jihadis to seize control of central Damascus, the Syrian capital, although that depiction seemed highly exaggerated. Witness accounts said many people were going about their business, while others noted that previous koranimal claims of territorial gains in Damascus had almost always turned out to be embellished or unfounded
A 35-year-old rebel koranderthal who identified himself only as Tarki said overcast weather had sheltered the jihadis from aerial bombardment. “We got orders today to open all fronts in and around Damascus, to get into it from the northeast, east and south sides,” he said. The jihadi strategy, he said, was to “fight the Assad forces on all sides and control more districts closer to the heart of Damascus.” Those claims could not be independently verified
Salam Mahound, an activist in Damascus, described Al Abasiyeen Square as “on fire,” and a video clip uploaded on YouTube (below) showed a thick column of black smoke spiraling over the area while the sound of shelling could be heard. A voice said the shelling had started a fire. The Local Coordination Committees, an anti-Assad activist network in Syria, reported gunfire in nearby streets

Video showing fires in Al Abasiyeen Square. In arabpig, but allahu akbar is heard clearly
News report here. YT link here.