Syrian Revolution News Round- up / Day 620 – Regime atrocities prompt high-level military defections (24.11.2012)

Mass protests broke out across the country carrying the slogan of “The end is near it’s time for victory”. Protesters vowed to continue the revolution until the regime is toppled.Regime forces brought in military reinforcements to Damascus to support its troops in the major offensive on the rebels’ strongholds. The provincial towns of Daraya and Moadamiya came under fierce rocket and artillery shelling amid suffocating siege and complete power and communications outage. Even food and medical aids were prohibited.

Regime forces also continued their attacks on opposition areas across the country, destroying dozens of homes and killing more than 76 people, including three children and two women as well as 18 rebel fighters. At least 50 people were also injured.

At least 32 people were killed in Damascus and its suburbs, including seven men that were executed and then burnt in the neighbourhood of Qadam while dozens more died due to the fierce shelling in the provincial towns of Moadamiya, Daraya, Douma and Sbeneh. Some 12 people were killed in Aleppo including three civilians that were killed by sniper shots near the Free Zone while three others died due to the indiscriminate shelling in the neighbourhood of Ithaa. Regime forces killed five people in Idlib, four more in each of Latakia, Daraa, Deir Azzour and Hama, three in Homs in addition to one more in each of Raqa and Qunaitera.

The rebels continued to besiege and bombard the infantry and police academies in the suburbs of Aleppo. Heavy fighting also erupted in the neighbourhoods of Masaken Barzeh, Fahameh, Qabun and Kafarsouseh whereby the rebels attacked a number of security and military posts, killing and injuring many security and army forces. They also continued to repel the regime’s ground assault on their strongholds throughout the country, killing and injuring dozens of militiamen and soldiers besides destroying a number of military tanks and armoured vehicles.

More high-level defections were announced today by Major General Mahmoud Ali, Head of Research and Planning in the Ministry of Interior, Brigadier General Muneir Hariri, a senior officer in the state security division of Daraa as well as Colonel Pilot Jihad al-Khatib from the Homs suburb of Rastan.