Monday, 29 October 2012

Conflicts remain in Syria, despite the UN-backed truce

AP

BEIRUT SYRIAN warplanes and artillery hit the rebel suburbs East of Damascus, while rebel regime positions elsewhere near the capital on Sunday attacked, violence that marred the third day of what was supposed to be a four-day holiday truce, said activists.

A u.n.-backed truce declared for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha has no account, with fighting reported from the beginning. Activists said that more than 150 people were killed on Friday, the beginning of the holiday, and more than 120 people on the second day, similar to previous daily accident toll.

The armistice was seen as a long shot. The international mediator in Syria, not to Lakhdar Brahimi, firm commitments of all fighters.

At least one rebel-linked radical Islamic Group, the Al-Qaeda-inspired Jabhat al-Nusra, rejected the ceasefire outright.

In a video posted this week, the leader of Al-Qaeda, Ayman al Zawahri, called "Muslims everywhere" in support of Syria uprising.

The armistice was named as the two parties were fighting over strategic targets in a largely stalled civil war. They include a military base near a main North-South highway, the main supply route to the largest city, Aleppo, Syria, where regime forces and rebels have fought Mvr.

It seems that each side feared that the other exploit a lull to improve its positions.

With the unraveling of the Armistice, it is unclear what the international community can do. The holiday truce marked the first attempt in six months to the bloodshed in Syria, where activists say that more than 35,000 people have been killed in 19 months.

Brahimi did not say what a truce would follow.

Talks between Assad and the Syrian opposition about a peaceful transition are blocked, because the Syrian leader opponents say they will not negotiate unless he resigns, a step he refused to take.

In fighting on Sunday, Syrian warplanes struck the eastern outskirts of Damascus of Arbeen, Harasta and Zamalka to try to oust rebels, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for human rights, which collects information from activists in Syria. The Observatory is also reported shelling of attacks in these areas.

Local activists and another opposition group, the local coordination committees said warplanes hit Arbeen and Harasta. The LCC said eight people were killed on Sunday in Damascus and its suburbs.

Three amateur videos posted online showed warplanes flying over the eastern suburbs.

A video showed two huge clouds of smoke rising from what was said that Arbeen, and the sound of an airplane can be heard in the background.

It was not clear whether the video the aftermath of the bombing or an air attack showed.

Another video showed destruction within the Sheikh Moussa mosque in Harasta.

Windows and doors were blown out, glass and debris scattered on the floor of the mosque. The Narrator broke as he heard say: "where are the Muslims? Our mosques are bombed and no one cares. " Also showed a video in Harasta, widespread destruction, including rows of buildings with shattered windows, gaping holes and shellpocked facades.

The videos appeared consistent with Associated Press reporting in the area.

In Douma, another Damascus suburb, rebels wrested three positions of regime forces, including an unfinished high-rise building who had used by snipers regime, according to the Observatory and Mohammed Saeed, a local activist.

Fighting was also reported near Maaret al Numan, a city along the Aleppo-Damascus highway that rebels seized earlier this month. Opposition fighters also have a nearby military base besieged and repeatedly attacked Government supply convoys heading there. The Observatory said the Syrian air force rockets fired and barrel bombs รณ improvised weapons of explosives stuffed in barrels on villages near the base created declined.

The Syrian Government has accused the rebels of violating the ceasefire from the beginning.

The State-run news agency SANA said opposition fighters carried out attacks on a number of areas, including in the eastern city of Aleppo and Deir el-Zour.

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