Wednesday, 19 September 2012 21:31
DAMASCUS: Main events in the Syrian conflict on Wednesday:
- In the northern commercial hub Aleppo, the army bombards the districts of Hanano, Shaar, Sakhur, Masaken al-Fardos and Kalasseh, injuring several people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
- In the capital Damascus, rebels withdraw from the southern districts of Al-Hajar al-Aswad and Assali, after weeks of heavy combat and shelling, while the army bombarded districts oF the city and adjacent areas, the Observatory says.
A network of activists, the Syrian Revolution General Commission (SRGC), describes as "disaster areas" the Al-Hajar al-Aswad, Qadam and Assali districts, accusing the regime of "carrying out a series of summary executions" in the south of the capital. It says that at least 200 people have been killed in the afflicted districts since the outbreak of violence there mid-summer.
- Regime forces shell the eastern region of Deir Ezzor, Latakia and Idlib in the northwest, Homs and Hama in the centre. In the north, the rebels, who controlled at least three of the seven border posts with Turkey, seize that of Tall al-Abyad, according to the Turkish media.
- Rights group Amnesty International says that civilians, many of them children, are the main victims of "relentless, indiscriminate" attacks by the Syrian army.
- President Bashar al-Assad tells Iran's foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi that the war engulfing Syria is targeting not just it but the "resistance axis," state news agency SANA reports. Assad's regime, Iran and the powerful Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah refer to themselves as a "resistance axis" in their common opposition to Israel.
- Syria's main opposition coalition, the Syrian National Council, expresses reservations about the presence of staunch Damascus ally Iran in the regional contact group on the country.
- The Syrian regime plans to deploy chemical weapons against its own people "as a last resort", the former head of Syria's chemical arsenal, who defected three months ago, tells The Times newspaper in an interview.
- Israel's army stages a surprise drill on the Golan Heights, which borders Syria, the military says.
Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012