- Special Pages
A Free Syrian Army fighter in front of a damaged car in Aleppo yesterday.
BEIRUT: The Syrian army fired rockets at a Damascus district yesterday, trying to drive out insurgents fighting their way closer to the seat of President Bashar Al
As fighting that has killed 60,000 persists in the 21-month uprising turned civil war, Syria’s deputy foreign minister visited Iran yesterday, seeking to maintain the support of Assad’s main regional ally.
Iran’s Fars news agency said Faisal Al Makdad would meet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials.
Government forces fired rockets at Jobar, a Sunni enclave close to the centre of Damascus, a day after bombarding Daraya, a suburb in the east and part of a crescent of rebel-held areas on the outskirts, said Housam, an activist in the capital.
“The shelling began in the early hours of the morning, it has intensified since 11am, and now it has become really heavy. Yesterday it was Daraya and today Jobar is the hottest spot in Damascus,” he said by Skype.
Western countries have so far shown no appetite for military engagement in Syria of the sort that helped oust Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, but Nato is sending US and European Patriot surface-to-air missile batteries to the Turkish-Syrian border.
Syria’s war, the longest and deadliest of the conflicts that arose out of popular uprisings in Arab countries over the past two years, has killed at least 60,000 people, according to a United Nations tally released in recent days.
The war pits rebels, mainly drawn from the Sunni Muslim majority, against Assad, a member of the Shia-derived Alawite minority sect.