Syrian Regime Bombards Damascus Suburb, Kills 36, as Rebels close on Air Base

The Baath regime of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad showed its increasing desperation on Sunday when it had fighter jets bombard the eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus, killing some 36 people (some of them non-combatants). The regime bombed this area because the revolutionaries are using it as a base from which to attack the Muleiha air base, the last major military installation to the east of Damascus that hasn’t already fallen into rebel hands. In the past month, the revolutionaries have concentrated on taking military bases, especially ones with airfields, in hopes of cutting the regime off from resupply by Russia and Iran.

Oppositionists posted (unverified) footage of the bombardment to Youtube (warning, not for the faint of heart):

On Friday, revolutionaries announced that they had captured the key Taftanaz air base in the north of the country. Some alarums were raised, however, in that the best fighters, and the ones who took the lead, at Taftanaz are said to be Jibhat al-Nusra (The Succor Front), an extremist Sunni guerrilla group.

Several other rebel positions in towns around the country were bombarded by the regime on Sunday, including Rastan near Homs.

5 Responses

  1. Jibhat al-Nusra has, according to the Iraqi foreign minister, been staffed by Iraqi Islamic extremist fighters associated with al-Qaeda.

    Leaders of the Free Syrian Army have praised the al-Nusra faction for their skillful performance against the Syrian government troops, although the Free Syrian Army has also condemned their deployment of suicide bombers. The Syrian National Coalition chairman has sought to have the State Department rescind its designation of al-Nusra as a terrorist organization.

    The number of al-Nusra fighters within Syria is said to be only several hundred. They seek to impose Sharia law in Syria.

  2. Why not for the faint of heart? I watched the video three times and saw nothing but some smoke, a woman hurrying, a few vans driven in the normal Syrian way and a couple of guys running up some stairs. There were no sounds of shelling at all, no explosions and no obvious casualties unless you count an ill-defined lump in the road as one, unlikely as every one was ignoring it.

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