Rebels score advances in Damascus, Idlib and Deir Azzour

Syrian Revolution News Round- Day 685

Rebel fighters stormed a strategic railway station in the neighborhood of Qadam, one of the regime’s largest military outposts in the south of the capital. The station is located at the crossroads among the southern neighborhoods of Qadam, Maidan, Yarmouk Refugee Camp and Naher Aysha.

In rural Damascus, the rebels inflicted the heaviest losses on regime forces in weeks. They destroyed five military tanks and six armored vehicles in the town of Daraya and stormed the base of the army’s 22nd brigade in the town of Otayba of East Ghouta district, 10 kilometers east of Damascus International Airport, where they also captured two military tanks and large quantities of weapons. They stormed 781st air defense base in the suburb of Khan al-Sheeh as well as the Military Security Branch in the town of Sa’saa where they set dozens of detainees free. The rebels stormed the premises of the Military Housing Foundation and the cement factory in the Sheikh Saad neighborhood of Aleppo city. They also stormed a checkpoint manned by the state security forces near the Deir Azzour Suspension Bridge in the eastern city of Deir Azzour and kept advancing in the Jesser Shughour district in the north-eastern province of Idlib, seizing control of the village of Yaqoubiya and Janoudiya after killing and injuring a number of troops and capturing four military tanks and three armored vehicles.

Activists said that some 84 bodies arrived from Damascus to Latakia airport today. The bodies were then handed over to their families by the Bustan Foundation, a charity organization owned by Assad’s cousin and Millionaire Rami Makhlouf.

Syria’s high judicial council has announced a suspension of prosecutions of opposition members so they can join a national dialogue, state media reported today. Meanwhile, activists said that a senior member of Damascus-based opposition National Development Party, Khalil Mustafa Sayed, was arrested by security forces on Friday.

The Syrian regime rejected accusations of planning to explode a bomb in Mecca during the Haj season in 2012. Imad Al-Haraki, a defected Syria diplomat who worked for the Syrian consulate in Jeddah, told the London-based Al Hayat daily that he had been selected by the Syrian government to carry out the act of terrorism on the ninth day of Dhul Hijja when around three million people gathered at the Arafat Mount, the peak of the pilgrimage rituals.

Regime forces continued their indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas across the country, using cluster, phosphorus, therbombaric and explosive bombs as well as the long-range surface-to-surface missiles, causing extensive material damage and leaving dozens of people dead and wounded.

The continued violence left more than 125 people dead today. Regime forces and loyalist militiamen killed at least 103 people, including 11 children, five women and 23 rebel fighters, whereas the rebels killed more than 25 soldiers and militiamen.Regime forces killed 33 people in Damascus and its suburbs, nine of whom were shot dead by sniper fire while dozens others were killed and injured due to the violent shelling in the provincial towns of Harran Awamid, Douma and Iribn. They also killed 18 people in Homs including four children, the majority of whom died due to the heavy shelling in the towns of Rastan and Houla. Meanwhile, some 18 people were killed in Aleppo including eight rebel fighters while 11 more people died in Idlib, including three children which were killed by regime shelling in the town of Habeit. Dozens more people were also killed and injured due to the heavy shelling and clashes that took place in various locations around Daraa, Latakia and Hama.