Syrian Revolution News Round- up / Day 625 : Rebels shoot down 9 warplanes within 48 hours

The rebels shot down nine warplanes within the past 48 hours after shooting down four more today. The number includes five fighter jets and four helicopter gunships, all crashed in Aleppo, Damascus and Idlib.

The rebels shot down a fighter jet and detained its pilot in the Aleppo suburb of Daret Ezza today while The second one was shot down in the neighbourhood of Suleiman Halabi in Aleppo city and the third one crashed near the Turkish border in the suburb of Idlib. They also shot down a helicopter gunship in the suburb of Damascus.  The rebels stormed the 608th air defence base near the town of Assan in the western suburb of Aleppo, capturing a big quantity of weapons including anti-aircraft missiles. The rebels also seized control of a strategic road connecting the provincial towns of Jesrin and Maliha in the East Ghouta district of Damascus province.

More than 58 people were killed and 130 others were injured in twin blasts that rocked the mainly Druze and Christian district of Jaramana near Damascus. The mainly Sunni rebel Free Syrian Army denied responsibility of these explosions and pointed the finger of blame at the Syrian regime, saying that it is trying to instigate a sectarian strife in order to win the support of the country’s minorities. Activists said that these explosions came after a number of Druze clerks appealed to their kinsmen not to fight alongside the Assad forces.

Regime forces continued their attacks on Damascus and its suburbs, killing as many as 27 people, most of them died due to the indiscriminate shelling in the neighbourhoods of Jobar and Kafarsoueh as well as the provincial towns of Douma, Daraya, Nashabiya, Rankous, Harasta and Moadamiya thus bringing the death toll in Damascus and its suburbs to 85.At least seven more people were killed in an airstrike on a local market in the Aleppo suburb of Menbej, this came in retaliation for taking the nearby water dam of Tishrin few days ago. Regime forces killed 14 people in Daraa, nine of whom died during clashes; meanwhile, ten rebel fighters were also killed during clashes with regime forces throughout the suburbs of Idlib.

Regime forces shelled as many as 159 different areas today, mainly in Damascus, Aleppo and Homs. They fired mortar shells on more than 57 areas while their heavy artillery pounded more than 56 others. Some 23 areas came under rocket shelling and seven more were bombarded by barrel bombs. Fighter jets bombarded more than 19 areas of which four were shelled by cluster bombs thus causing extensive damage to residential buildings and leaving scores of people dead and injured.

Today’s death toll reached 132, including ten children and five women as well as 28 rebel fighters. At least 50 people were also injured. Bank Audi is readying a plan B to quit the Syrian market should the situation deteriorates further, its CEO Samir Hanna was quoted as saying. Talking to Reuters, Mr Hanna said that the bank would pull out of the Syrian market when it will not be able to “guarantee the operations” there. “We have a Plan B, It’s about the security of our staff there, the clients’ needs and so on,” Mr Hanna added.