Syrian Revolution News Round-up / Day 548 : Rebels form Syria’s Liberation Front

Rebel groups from Damascus, Idlib, Hama, Homs and Deir Azzour announced the formation of “Syria’s Liberation Front” as an umbrella organization that includes the Ansar al-Islam group in Damascus, Soqour al-Sham brigade in Idlib and Hama, al-Farouq battalions in Homs, Amro Bin A’as brigade and the Deir Azzour Revolutionary Council in Deir Azzour.

Fierce fighting broke out between rebel fighters and regime forces in the vicinity of Aleppo international airport and in the neighbourhoods of Maidan, Sheikh Maqsoud and Arqoub. Rebels stormed police stations in Maidan and Sheikh Maqsoud and seized full control of these neighbourhoods.

Regime forces carried out a number of summary executions across the country. In the city of Daraa, the national hospital handed over 13 civilians who died under torture perpetrated by Syrian security forces. In Aleppo, at least 25 unidentified civilians who appear to have been shot from a close range were found in the neighbourhood of Azamiya, while six more bodies that carry clear torture marks were also found in the neighbourhood of Jamiya Zahraa. Regime forces also executed 11 civilians in the Hama suburb of Halfaya and 12 more in the Idlib suburbs of Saraqeba and Kafrouma while executing many others in Damascus and its suburbs.

Scores of civilians were killed and dozens of houses destroyed due to the fierce and indiscriminate shelling by heavy artillery and fighter jets that targeted residential areas in the neighbourhoods of Sukari, Qadi Askar, al-Bab Road, Meyasar, Arqoub and Masaken Hanano as well as in the provincial towns of Menbej, Daret Ezza, Marea, Taqad, Kaljabrin and Rael.

Regime forces also resumed shelling the southern part of the capital, leaving dozens of civilians dead and wounded. They also resumed shelling the groves of Eastern Ghouta and the provincial towns of Zabadani, Thiyabiya, Qatana and Hosh Arab. Furthermore, they demolished a number of buildings in the neighbourhood of Qaboun and carried out sweeps, looting and arbitrary arrests in the neighbourhoods of Ruken Adin and Salhiya and the provincial towns of Thiyabiya, Yalda and Kanaker.

Security forces and militias stormed a students’ dormitory near the University of Damascus and killed a student by throwing him off from the window of his room on the third floor spreading panic among other students. Regime forces also continued their massive military offensive throughout the country, killing dozens of civilians, wounding hundreds others and forcing thousands of them to flee their homes. They fiercely shelled the old city of Homs and the neighbourhood of Jobar as well as its provincial towns of Ghanto, Talbiseh, Qosayr, Houleh and Rastan. They also shelled a number of towns in the Hama suburb of Sahl al-Ghab as well as the city of Deir Azzour and its provincial towns of Boukamal, Souseh, Husainiya, Ashara and Soway’aa. They resumed shelling the neighbourhoods of al-Sad Road and the refugee camp in the city of Daraa as well as its provincial tons of Khirbet Ghazaleh, Ma’arbeh, Tafas, Yadouda and Bosra. They also shelled the Idlib suburbs of Saraqeb, Taftanaz and Sarmin as well as the Latakia suburbs of Rabea.

Inflation has slashed the purchasing power of ordinary Syrians by a third due in part to economic sanctions imposed on Syria that reduced the quantity of products and services offered in the market against the high demand of consumers thus pushing the price up.