13 Dead in Syria as Army Tries to Regain Control of Rebel-Held Areas

Posted on: June 26, 2012 at 00:59
Violence killed 13 people across Syria on Monday, as the army pounded towns and cities in an attempt to regain control of territory lost to rebels, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

At least 11 of the dead were civilians with the highest number of killed in the northwestern province of Idlib, where fierce clashes were underway between rebels and troops, the Britain-based Observatory said.

Two civilians and a rebel fighter were killed in the fighting that raged in the Idlib town of Kafr al-Nabel.

Three other civilians and a rebel died in Maaret al-Numan as troops pounded the town with mortar shells and rained gunfire on it in a bid to overrun the armed insurgents, the Observatory said.

Elsewhere in the province students and a large number of women demonstrated against the regime in the town of Jericho on Monday, a day after seven members of the same family were killed in shelling on their farmland outside the town.

Two civilians were shot dead by sniper fire in Homs, the watchdog said, amid an outcry by opposition groups who warned of a new ''massacre'' against the flashpoint central city that has been besieged by the army for around 20 days.

The rebel Free Syrian Army said ''the regime is sending reinforcements estimated at 100 tanks in the direction of Homs... which clearly demonstrates its intention to commit the greatest massacre in history.''

An appeal from Homs residents distributed by the opposition Syrian National Council said the city was experiencing shortages of food, water and medicine.

''The Red Cross and Red Crescent are prevented from entering our neighborhoods'' because of the fighting, it said.

In the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, two civilians were killed, as regime forces continued military operations in the city and several explosions shook Jubeila neighborhood, according to the Observatory.

Regime forces also shelled several towns in Damascus province, where a woman was reportedly killed. Security forces also conducted raids and made arrests in the town of Irbin where blast could be heard.

A civilian was also killed in the southern province of Daraa, according to the Observatory, which also reported that several towns were being shelled by regular troops.

The watchdog reported, meanwhile, an exodus of residents from Anjil, also in Daraa province, amid fears that troops were mobilizing in the vicinity.

The region of the Kurdish Mountain in northwest Latakia province also came under attack as regime forces attempting to take charge of the region.

At least 91 people were killed nationwide on Sunday, among them 59 civilians, the watchdog said.

More than 15,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria since the outbreak of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad's rule in March 2011, according to the Observatory.

Source:Agence France Presse
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