New clashes around Syrian army base

2012-10-20 22:06
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Maaret Al-Numan - Syrian regime forces and rebels clashed around a besieged army base near the strategic northern town of Maaret al-Numan on Saturday, an AFP correspondent said.

Machinegun fire and explosions rang out from Wadi Deif base on the eastern outskirts of the town, which has since come under heavy army bombardment and air strikes since rebels seized it on 9 October.

The AFP correspondent on Saturday saw 15 tanks deployed around the base to defend it, some camouflaged among olive trees.

The sprawling Wadi Deif base, about 2km  outside Maaret al-Numan, is surrounded by watchtowers and mounds of earth.

Rebels said up to 500 soldiers are holed up inside the base. Military helicopters have been seen dropping supplies that often miss their target and instead land behind rebel lines or in no-man's land.

The rebels have besieged Wadi Deif from three sides, including from positions along the highway that runs from Damascus to the key northern city of Aleppo, a stretch of several kilometres which they hold.

Regime air strikes have targeted the rebel-controlled areas along the key highway with 500kg bombs.

On Saturday morning, a warplane made a low pass dropping a bomb on the city itself that caused no casualties. Another warplane later bombed the city's outskirts after several passes at very low altitude.

Maaret al-Numan's streets were largely deserted on Saturday morning, although a fragile calm allowed some residents to gather supplies and families to briefly visit their abandoned homes.

More resources

There were almost no cars on the streets, mostly mopeds ridden by insurgents. A few shopkeepers braved the bombardments to open their businesses, but all activity stopped the minute the warplanes reappeared in the sky.

Tyres were set on fire at crossroads for the black smoke to obscure the vision of the regime pilots.

"The storm will come," 55-year-old retired teacher Abu Amir said, sitting in front of his shrapnel-peppered building.

"For the moment, the army doesn't have the means to retake the city. But who knows, if they put more resources into it," a rebel chief said. "If they don't manage that, the regime will take revenge by crushing us with air strikes."

A column of army reinforcements which Damascus sent up from the south was still being held back by rebel forces 5km south of Maaret al-Numan.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said fierce clashes broke out on the Aleppo-Damascus highway south of the town after rebels attacked the military convoy.

In Damascus province, plumes of smoke could be seen rising from the town of Harasta after a powerful explosion rocked it, followed by shelling and clashes that left five rebels and two civilians killed, the Britain-based watchdog said.

Government forces arrested 20 people in Harasta, 10km northeast of Damascus, while fierce fighting broke out in the nearby town of Irbin, leaving four rebels as well as a woman and a media activist killed.

The Observatory gave an initial toll of 65 people killed on Saturday: 18 civilians, 22 soldiers and 22 rebels.

Read more on:    syria  |  protests  |  syria conflict
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Africa: Land of Billionaires!

Find out who are the richest of the richest in Africa!

 
 

Men24.com

Jurassic World trailer is epic!
Best bro movies 2014
Every man should be able to do these three things
Goalkeeper saves five penalties with his FACE!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Fundraising Officer

Cape Town Southern Suburbs
Star Personnel
R12 000 - R15 000 Per Month

Intermediate ASP.Net Developer

Cape Town
E-Merge IT Recruitment
R456 000 Per Year

General Foreman (Montague Gardens)

Cape Town
West Coast Personnel
R20 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Hot festive offers at kalahari.com!

Hurry! Stocks are limited. Don’t miss out. Shop Now!

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may feel divided. Conflict between mind and emotions can create tension or indecision. This could lead to stressful feelings...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.