Syrian Revolution News Round- up / Day 647 : Hezbollah bombards Syrian villages, regime fires Scud missiles on Aleppo

Forces from the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah have unleashed heavy mortar and rocket bombardments on the Syrian rebels-held villages near the border with Lebanon. They shelled the villages of Burhaniya, Sqarja, Khaldiya and Abou Houri in the suburbs of Homs. The source of fire came from the Lebanese Shia towns of Qasr, Harmel, Wadi Fasan and Sad Ma’yan. The shelling followed an attack by the rebels on the Hezbollah bulldozers while were setting up barricades inside the Syrian soil.

Regime forces shelled as many as 274 different areas, using all sort of heavy weaponry including cluster and phosphorous bombs as well as barrel bombs. Some 109 areas were shelled by mortar shells and 113 others were pounded by heavy artillery. More than 52 areas came under rocket shelling as fighter jets and helicopter gunship bombarded several others.  

Activists said that regime forces fired Scud missiles on the northern suburbs of Aleppo hitting random targets in the towns of Tal Refaat and Marea without any confirmed casualties. Sporadic skirmishes that lasted for several hours were reported in the neighbourhoods of Mazeh, Kafarsouseh and Qabun in the capital, where the rebels said they also attacked a military checkpoint in the Dummar district and fired mortar shells into the notorious security branch of Palestine. Heavy fighting also continued near the Damascus suburbs of Aqraba, Daraya and Harasta. The rebels seized their first border crossing point on the Lebanese border near the Damascus suburb of Rankous.

Palestinian and Syrian refugees who fled the violence in the Palestinian Yarmouk camp, started returning back home after Palestinian leaders negotiated the rebels’ exit from the neighbourhood. The Palestinian leaders also urged both the rebels and the government to keep the Palestinians out of the this conflict.

The rebels said they seized control of a military checkpoint in the neighbourhood of Deir Baalba in Homs city in addition to a radar base nearby. They also stormed an artillery base and fired mortar shells on the air intelligence branch in the neighbourhood of Jamiyat al-Zahraa in Aleppo city. Moreover, the rebels fired mortar shells on the political security compound in the city of Deir Azzour.

The rebels announced the death of Major General Mohammad Kheit and ten of his bodyguards. Kheit is the commander-in-chief of the Syrian army’s ninth division and was killed in an ambush in the regime-held Damascus suburb of Kesweh.  

Today’s death toll reached 128 people, including 12 children, nine women and 35 rebel fighters. At least 42 people were killed in Damascus and its suburbs, eight of whom died during clashes with regime forces in the provincial town of Hamouriya while dozens of civilians died due to the indiscriminate shelling in the neighbourhood of Hajar Aswad as well as in the provincial towns of Mliha, Moadamiyat al-Sham and Douma. Some six people were shot dead by regime snipers in the Palestinian Yarmouk camp.Regime forces also killed 27 people in Daraa, eight of whom died under torture and their handcuffed bodies were discovered in the suburb of Izraa. Meanwhile, five more civilians were executed in the Refugee Camp in Daraa city. Some 19 people were killed in Hama, most of whom died due to the indiscriminate shelling in the provincial towns of Helfaya and Jalma. More than 12 people were killed in Aleppo due to the intense artillery shelling in the neighbourhoods of Bustan Qaser, Sakhour as well as in the provincial town of Indan. The joint Assad-Hezbollah forces killed nine people in Homs, three of whom were executed in the village of Josiya. Meanwhile, many civilians were killed in Deir Azzour and Idlib.