Friday, July 20, 2012

Regime Troops Storm Damascus District with Tanks

Regime troops stormed a Damascus district with tanks on Thursday for the first time, five days on from the outbreak of fierce clashes in the capital, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

"The army stormed the Qaboon district with a large number of tanks," the Observatory's Rami Abdel Rahman told Agence France Presse. "This is the first time that tanks enter a Damascus district."

The army's move stoked fears of an imminent massacre in the western quarter of the capital, scene of clashes over the past five days, the Britain-based monitoring group said.

Earlier on Thursday, a security source told AFP on condition of anonymity that the army would show no restraint in its operations.

"These extremely violent clashes should continue in the next 48 hours to cleanse Damascus of terrorists by the time Ramadan begins" on Friday, the source said, referring to the Muslim holy fasting month.

The developments came a day after three top regime officials were killed in an unprecedented attack in the National Security headquarters in Damascus, which was claimed by the rebel Free Syrian Army.

"After the attack, (the army) has decided to use all the weapons in its possession to finish the terrorists off," the security source said.

Violence killed at least 107 people across Syria on Thursday, the Observatory said, and forced hundreds of Damascus residents to flee their homes for safer neighborhoods.



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