Sunday, 5 August 2012
Syria's armed forces pounded the rebel-held Salaheddin district of the northern city of Aleppo from the air and ground on Saturday, a rebel commander says.
"It was the most violent shelling of Salaheddin since the outbreak of fighting in Aleppo" on July 20, said Colonel Abdel Jabbar al-Oqaidi, the Free Syrian Army's military chief for the country's commercial capital.
"It is not the first time the army has tried to storm Salaheddin," Oqaidi said.
Violence also raged in the Shaar and Sukkari districts of Aleppo, an AFP correspondent in the embattled city said, adding the army had used fighter jets and artillery to strike the neighbourhoods.
Later on Saturday, regime forces also shelled the Seif al-Dawla district, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The shelling came as 78 people were killed across Syria, including at least eight in the province of Aleppo, the Observatory said. Of those killed on Saturday, 45 were civilians, 26 were regime troops and seven rebels.
On Friday, 84 people were reported to have died around the country - 46 civilians, 19 rebels and 19 soldiers.
In Damascus, regime forces retook Tadamun, the last remaining rebel bastion, after heavy shelling earlier on Saturday.
Violence also broke out in the Jobar area of the Syrian capital, the Observatory said, adding that violence killed at least six people in Damascus province on Saturday.
A brigadier-general told journalists visiting Tadamun that the Syrian army now has all of the capital under its control.
"We have cleansed all the districts of Damascus, from Al-Midan to Mazzeh, from Al-Hajar Al-Aswad to Qadam ... to Tadamun," said the general, who led the military operation in Tadamun but refused to give his name.
Elsewhere, 20 people were killed as regime forces shelled Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria, the monitoring group said.
"It is unclear exactly how many of them were rebels and how many civilians, but what is clear is that the regime shelled indiscriminately," said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
An anti-regime activist from Deir Ezzor told AFP on condition of anonymity that the humanitarian situation in the eastern province was critical. "Many different areas are being shelled," he said.
"Doctors there are saying that the dead are gone, but the problem is now how to help the elderly and people who need medical care."