EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

World/National News

October 31, 2012

Syria activists report 23 dead near Damascus

BEIRUT (AP) — Airstrikes by Syrian jets and shells from tanks leveled a neighborhood in a restive city near the capital of Damascus yesterday, killing 18 people, and at least five rebel fighters died nearby in clashes with regime troops, activists said.

The airstrikes on the city of Douma, northeast of the capital, left residents scampering over a huge expanse of rubble and using their hands to dig up mangled bodies, according to activist videos posted online.

Scenes of vast destruction like those from Douma yesterday have grown more common as rebels seeking to topple President Bashar Assad have made gains on the ground, and Assad’s forces have responded with overwhelming air power.

In the past weeks, anti-regime activists say about 150 people have been killed a day in fighting. Since the uprising against Assad began in March 2011, they say 35,000 have died.

Yesterday’s airstrikes came a day after what activists called the heaviest and most widespread bombing campaign nationwide, on what was to be the final day of an internationally sanctioned truce that never took hold.

The death toll for what was supposed to be a four-day cease-fire ending Monday exceeded 500.

Activists speculated that the government’s heavy reliance on air power reflected its inability to roll back rebel gains, especially in the north of the country near the border with Turkey, where rebels have control of swathes of territory.

The international community remains at a loss about how to stop the Syria violence. The U.S. and other Western and Arab nations have called on Assad to step down, while Russia, China and Iran continue to back him.

In the latest fighting after nightfall Tuesday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 18 civilians were killed in an airstrike and tank fire Tuesday in the Hajariyeh neighborhood in the suburb of Douma, northeast of Damascus.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
World/National News

Latest U.S. News
Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Man Fatally Shot During Police Standoff Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security Thousands Cross Boston Marathon Finish Line Defendant Killed by Police in Courthouse Attack Raw: Woman Accused in Babies' Deaths in Court Raw: Sinkhole Swallows Part of Fla. Yard Stowaway Stirs Concern About Airport Security
Latest World News
Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Today in History for April 23rd 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter Hong Kong Residents Help Create Green Roofs Raw: World Cup Trophy Begins Tour in Brazil Raw: Royal Couple Tours Uluru in Australia Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Raw: Tesla Delivers First China Cars Biden Brings Message of Unity to Ukraine Today in History for April 22nd Raw: British Queen's Birthday Celebration Raw: Massive Fire at UK Industrial Site Raw: Mourners Gather for Peaches Geldof Funeral Raw: Biden Lands in Kiev for High-profile Visit SKorea President: Ferry Crew Actions 'Murderous' Raw: Fire Engulfs Tower Block in China Raw: Ferry Captain Received Medical Treatment
Photos of the Week