Rebels pushed out of Damascus suburb

2013-06-04 16:13
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

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

Beirut - Syrian government forces have pushed rebels battling to topple President Bashar Assad out of a key district on the edge of Damascus, the country's state news agency reported on Tuesday.

If confirmed, the regime's latest gain would bolster the defences of the Syrian capital and further shift the balance of power Assad's way in the civil war.

In the past two months, the Syrian army has moved steadily against rebels in key battleground areas, making strategic advances near the border with Lebanon and considerably lowering the threat to Damascus, the seat of Assad's government.

State-ran Sana new agency said on Tuesday that government troops "restored security and stability to some vital areas" in Jobar, a district on the north-eastern edge of the capital from where the rebels had been trying to push into Damascus for weeks.

The troops have flushed "terrorists" out of positions they have been using to fire mortars into Damascus' residential areas, the report said but gave no further details.

Opposition activists could not be immediately reached for a statement on Jobar developments.


The Syrian government has consistently denied it's facing a popular uprising since the revolt against Assad's rule erupted in March 2011, insisting that the army is fighting foreign-backed terrorists who want to destroy the country.

More than 70 000 people have been killed in the two-year-old conflict and millions have fled their homes, seeking shelter in neighbouring countries.

Even the most modest international efforts to stop the bloodshed have failed.

The fighting has increasingly taken sectarian overtones with members of Syria's Sunni Muslim majority dominating the rebel ranks against Assad's regime, which is mostly made up of Alawites, members of an offshoot sect of Shi’ite Islam.

Sectarian fighting has also frequently spilled over Syria's volatile border with Lebanon, raising fears of reigniting the neighbouring country's civil war that ended in 1990.

Inside Lebanon, clashes between opposing factions have intensified in the past weeks as the Lebanese Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah has increasingly been more prominent and public in fighting alongside Assad's troops for control of the strategic Syrian town of Qusair.

Lebanese divided over Syria

The Lebanese are divided over the conflict next door and factions supporting the opposing sides in Syria's civil war often clash on home territory.

In the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, fighting has raged since Sunday, leaving at least six dead and 42 wounded, security officials said.

Gun battles subsided on Tuesday after local leaders called for calm, although there was sporadic sniper activity in several Tripoli areas most affected by fighting, security officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Lebanon's official news service said on Tuesday that unknown gunmen fired at a military convoy patrolling Tripoli, wounding five soldiers and security personnel.

The National News Agency did not give more details on the incident that took place on Monday, but said that army troops continue to patrol the city and have conducted several raids on houses that were suspected hideouts for gunmen.

Read more on:    bashar assad  |  lebanon  |  syria  |  syria conflict

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.