Syrian Revolution News Round- up / Day 603 – High-ranking Iranian and Syrian officers killed in bomb explosion

Ahfad al-Rasol brigade claimed responsibility for the explosion that targeted the Syrian military headquarters in Damascus and which killed Major General Wajeeh Abdullah, Assad’s consultant for military affairs in addition to 16 Iranian officers and many other Syrians. Some seven Major Generals fled to turkey today while 22 army soldiers defected to the rebels’ side in the Aleppo suburb of Khan Asal.

Fierce fighting continued in the southern neighbourhoods of Damascus as well as in a number of towns in its suburbs. Clashes also broke out in several areas in Aleppo, Idlib, Raqa, Hama, Deir Azzour, Homs and Qunaitera resulting in the death of 50 army soldiers. The rebels stormed four military checkpoints in the Damascus suburb of Rankos destroying seven military tanks and a number of armoured vehicle. Meanwhile, at least 30 army soldiers were killed when the rebels intercepted a military convoy heading to Damascus on the Damascus-Homs highway near the city of Nabek. The regime brought in military reinforcements to retake the villages of Breqa and Be’er Ajam in the southern province of Qunaitera near the border with the Golan Heights. The Israeli army torched the groves near the bordering villages in order to keep families fleeing the violence as well as the rebels away from its border. Activists said a number of mines exploded when a shell fell from the Syrian side on a mine field in the Israeli territory.

At least 50 people were killed and dozens more were injured in multiple bomb explosions in the pro-Assad Alawite district of Woroud in Damascus. The neighbourhood is home for high-ranking officers and personnel from the elite Republican Guard corps which is responsible for planning and launching attacks on the neighbouring areas such as Qudsaya. A video that was posted on Youtube few months ago showed a number of detainees were being beaten up to death in the same square were the explosions took place.

Regime forces resumed their daily attacks on residential areas, pounding as many as 76 different areas across the country including the southern neighbourhoods of Damascus using their fighter jets. They killed more than 157 people including 10 children, eight women and 19 rebel fighters.

At least 60 people died in Damascus and its suburbs, including 21 that were killed in an airstrike on al-Fateh hospital in the provincial town of Kafarbatna and three more were executed in the neighbourhood of Qabun. Regime warplanes pounded the suburbs of Idlib committing two massacres and killing as many as 38 people, including 19 in the town of Saraqeb and 15 more in Ma’arrat Noman.They also killed 24 people in Aleppo, most of them died due to the fierce shelling in the neighbourhoods of Haydariya and Nqerien as well as in the provincial town of Al-Bab.Some 14 people died in Homs including nine civilians that fell in the town of Houleh due to the heavy artillery and mortar shelling. Regime forces also killed eight people in each of Daraa and Deir Azzour in addition to one more in Raqa.

Activists warned the Syrian pilgrims returning back to Syria from Saudi Arabia that those who carried the Syrian revolution’s flag or joined Doaa (prayers) against al-Assad are being executed upon arrival into the country. At least 10 pilgrims were executed at a military checkpoint set up just few meters near the Jordanian border. The regime sent a number of security personnel to perform Haj and collect intelligence on the daily activities of the Syrian pilgrims.