Assad nowhere to be seen as fighting continues in Damascus
Report: Rebel army forms special unit trained to secure Syria's chemical weapon sites.
By Reuters, Jack Khoury and Haaretz | Jul.21, 2012 | 12:18 PM | 1
Syrian government forces pounded rebels in Damascus overnight, battling to reverse opposition gains in the aftermath of the assassination of President Bashar Assad's security chiefs. Army helicopters and tanks aimed rockets, machineguns and mortars at pockets of rebel fighters who have infiltrated the capital this week in an operation they call "Damascus Volcano."
Lightly-armed fighters have been moving through the streets on foot and attacking security installations and roadblocks. But the heart of the city was quiet by 4 A.M. on Saturday, residents told Reuters. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition group which monitors the violence in the country, said 240 people had been killed across Syria on Friday, including 43 soldiers. The Observatory's combined death toll over the past 48 hours stands at 550, making it the bloodiest two days of the 16-month-old uprising against Assad.
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