Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Canada and Russia exchange snarky tweets

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Niger: Top opposition figure to be questioned in baby-trafficking scandal

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Liberia: President dismisses top officials who ignored call to return home

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Google rivals Amazon with delivery drone tests

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: WHO Says Cases Could Exceed 20,000 (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: WHO Says Cases Could Exceed 20,000

Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • Ukraine to restart NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president

    Read more

  • Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorism, says Hollande

    Read more

Middle east

Deadly bombs hit Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-12-21

The shelling of a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus left 21 people dead, activists reported on Friday, as fighting between rebels and regime forces continued. It was not clear which side was responsible for the deadly bombardment.

AP - Mortars rained down on a crowded marketplace in a Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian capital, killing 21 people as regime forces and rebels clashed on the southern outskirts of Damascus, activists said Friday.

The Britain-based Syria Observatory for Human Rights, which reported the deaths, said the shells hit Yarmouk camp Thursday as shoppers were buying food for the evening meal. The activists would not speculate on who was firing.

“We don’t know where the mortars came from, whether they were from the Syrian regime or not the Syrian regime,” said Rami Abdul Rahman, director of the Observatory. He added they could also have been strays from the fighting in nearby Tadamon neighborhood.

The state news agency blamed the bombardment on “terrorist mercenaries” – a term the government uses for rebel fighters – and said they had been chased away by security forces.

Government troops, however, have in the past attacked the camp, home to nearly 150,000 Palestinians and their descendants driven from their homes by the war surrounding Israel’s 1948 creation.

Palestinian refugees in Syria have tried to stay out of the 17-month old uprising but with Yarmouk nestled among neighborhoods sympathetic to the rebels, its residents were eventually drawn into the fighting.

Yarmouk’s younger inhabitants have also been moved by the Arab Spring’s calls for greater freedoms and have joined protests against President Bashar Assad’s regime— and have died during demonstrations when Syrian troops fired on them.

With the civil war in Syria getting increasingly vicious, chances for a diplomatic solution to the conflict were fading after the resignation Thursday of Kofi Annan, the U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria. Annan cited divisions within the Security Council preventing a united approach to stop the fighting.

The U.N. General Assembly was preparing to vote Friday on a new Arab-sponsored resolution condemning Syria’s use of heavy weapons to crush the uprising that has killed an estimated 19,000 people since it began on March 2011.

SIGNS OF SUMMARY EXECUTIONS BY REBELS

Amateur video footage recently posted on the Internet appears to show Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters carrying out summary executions of pro-regime militiamen, or Shabbiha, in and around Aleppo.

The videos, which could not be independently verified, appear to show the rebels mistreating their opponents in the same way as government forces have been accused of doing during the uprising.

One video shows four men identified as Shabbiha lined up against a wall and executed in a volley of gunfire that lasts more than a minute as onlookers shout, "Allahu akbar (God is greatest)".

Another video captures about 15 corpses at a police station before a rebel fires at one, blowing its head off.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has condemned the killings.

France 24
 

The resolution – which like all General Assembly resolutions is unenforceable – is expected to denounce Syria for unleashing tanks, artillery, helicopters and warplanes on the people of Aleppo and Damascus, and demand that the Assad regime keep its chemical and biological weapons warehoused and under strict control.

The attack on the Palestinian camp came as clashes raged overnight between rebels and government forces in the nearby Damascus suburb of Tadamon, which was also bombed by army Thursday, sending plumes of black smoke over the city.

The Observatory also reported shelling of the southwestern suburb of Jdaidat Artouz, where dozens of bodies were found after government forces swept through on Wednesday.

Syria’s civil war, which had raged across much of the country, came to the capital and northeastern city of Aleppo, Syria’s main commercial hub in July.

A rebel assault and revolt in Damascus two weeks ago was vigorously crushed by government forces, but pockets of resistance and sympathetic neighborhoods remain. Sporadic clashes and shelling also continue in Aleppo, especially the rebel bastion of Salaheddine as rebels and government forces hold different parts of that city.

On Thursday, the rebels even deployed a captured tank against the regime and briefly shelled an air force base outside Aleppo.

The U.N. peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous warned of a major government assault on Aleppo in the coming days to retake the rebel held neighborhoods.

“The focus is now on Aleppo, where there has been a considerable build-up of military means, and where we have reason to believe that the main battle is about to start,” he told reporters in New York late Thursday after briefing the Security Council on his trip to Syria.
 

Date created : 2012-08-03

  • SYRIA

    Assad praises 'heroic' army as battle for Aleppo rages

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Obama orders intelligence aid for Syrian rebels, media say

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Besieged city of Aleppo facing humanitarian crisis

    Read more

COMMENT(S)