Massacres continue in Damascus and Aleppo, Rebels say all Iranians must leave Syria

Syrian Revolution News Round- up / Day 672 –  Syrian children pulled from the rubble in the Damascus suburb of Moadamiyat al-sham today

The country has seen another bloody day as regime forces intensified their aerial raids on civilian areas, leaving dozens of people dead and wounded as the rebels gave a 24-hour ultimatum to all Iranian citizens to leave Syria.

The Chief-of-Staff of the Joint Military Command of the rebel Free Syrian Army, Salim Idris, issued a statement, demanding “all Iranian citizens in Syria should leave the country within 24 hours or else, the rebels should not be held liable for their safety.” This came as Idris confirmed that ‘the Iranian and Russian support to the Assad regime is increasing instead of decreasing as some may think”. Idris, also said that they have intelligence confirming that some security apparatus in Syria are being run by Russian and Iranian experts. He also said that some of the rebels who were released based on the recent prisoner exchange deal, confirmed that they were interrogated by Iranian investigators. The rebels seized control of the Meteorological Services Base located between the towns of Herran Awamid and Otayba in the East Ghouta district and few kilometres away from the Damascus International Airport. The rebels said that this base was used by Iranian experts to cause interference to pro-opposition TV channels. Heavy fighting also erupted throughout the Damascus suburbs of Daraya, Mleiha, Sokhna, Dukhaniya and Aqraba where the rebels destroyed at least five military tanks in addition to killing and injuring a number of regime soldiers and militiamen. In the south, the rebels seized control of the Daraa suburb of Masaken Sayda after fierce clashes that left many rebels and regime forces dead. In the nearby town of Baser Harir, heavy clashes continued for the 19th consecutive day, with the rebels repelling the regime’s ground assault and heavy aerial bombardment on the town.

Regime forces shelled as many as 374 different locations across the country using all sort of heavy weaponry, including cluster, phosphorus, thermobaric and explosive bombs. Some 134 locations were shelled by mortar shells and 170 others were pounded by artillery. More than 54 locations came under rocket shelling while fighter jets and helicopter gunships struck 24 more.

The continued violence left at least 175 people dead today. Some 147 people were killed by regime forces including 19 children, four women and 17 rebel fighters, whereas more than 28 regime soldiers and militiamen were killed by the rebels.

Using cluster and thermobaric bombs, regime forces killed more than 70 people in Damascus and its suburbs, including ten children and three women, the majority of whom died due to the aerial raids on the provincial towns of Moadamiyat al-Sham, Hosh Arab, Otayba, Mleiha. Meanwhile, 29 people died in Aleppo, 11 of whom were killed due to the heavy aerial and artillery shelling in the neighborhood of Haydariya, while many others were also killed due to the indiscriminate airstrikes on the neighborhoods of Maskana and Sukhna. Some eight people were killed in Hama, including four children that died in an airstrike on the provincial town of Latamana. Meanwhile, dozens of civilians and rebel fighters were killed due to the heavy fight fighting, shelling and summary executions and that took place throughout Daraa, Idlib, Homs and Deir Azzour.