Syrian Revolution News Round- Day 636 / Syrian judges defect, rebels form a new Supreme Military Council

In condemnation of the regime’s continued violations, nine Syrian judges and prosecutors announced their defection from the Assad regime to join the Free Syrian Judiciary Council which was formed earlier this year. This came as the top ten rebel commanders from across Syria joined forces under the Supreme Joint Leadership Military Council and elected Gen. Salim Idris to lead its General Staff of the Military and Revolutionary forces which in turn vowed to do continue working towards toppling the Assad regime.

Heavy fighting renewed in the southern outskirts of Damascus with the rebels storming a military checkpoint in the neighbourhood of Qadam. They also continued their attack on the department of military vehicles in the Damascus suburb of Harasta while clashing with regime forces near the towns of Daraya, Moadamiyat al-Sham and several other towns in the East Ghouta district.

The rebels launched a major attack on the 111th regiment in the western suburb of Aleppo where they took some parts of it. They also continued their attempt to take over the Menneg airbase thus prompting the defection of 40 soldiers from the nearby battalion of Tal Ajar. Some 14 more soldiers also defected to the rebels’ side as they continued pushing into the neighborhood of Aameriya in Aleppo city.                                           

Regime forces continued their military offensive on the opposition-held areas throughout the country. They shelled as many as 257 different areas, 79 of which were shelled by mortar shells while 127 others were pounded by heavy artillery. Some 51 areas came under rocket shelling as fighter jets bombarded more than 12 others, mainly in the suburbs of Damascus. Helicopter gunships dropped barrel bombs on five areas thus causing extensive damage to residential buildings and leaving scores of people dead and injured.

Regime forces killed as many as 103 people, including eight children, four women and 28 rebel fighters. They killed 38 people in Damascus and its suburbs, the majority of which died due to the violent shelling in the neighbourhoods of Asaly and Hajar Aswasd as well as in the provincial towns of Moadamiya al-Sham, Mesraba, Daraya, Qeisa, Shabaa, Douma, Zabadani and Harasta. They also killed 28 people in Aleppo, 20 of whom were burned to death near the air intelligence compound while 21 more died due to the heavy rocket and artillery shelling in the Idlib suburbs of Ihsem, Marean, Saraqeb and several villages in the Jabal Zawiya district. Some six people died in Daraa, three of whom died when a mine exploded in the town of Dael.