Rebels Warn: Damascus Airport a 'Legit Target'

Russia poised to 'brainstorm' with US, envoy
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 7, 2012 7:40 AM CST
In this Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 photo, Free Syrian Army fighters aim their weapons at the entrance of a building during heavy clashes with government forces in Aleppo, Syria.   (AP Photo/Narciso Contreras)

(Newser) – Syrian rebels have issued a warning to civilians and airlines: Damascus International Airport is now a "military zone" to be approached at locals' "own risk." "The airport is now full of armored vehicles and soldiers," says a spokesman for rebels, who call the spot a "legitimate target." They're hoping to barricade the hub in an effort to cut enemy supplies, fighters tell the AP.

  • As clashes expand around Damascus, some Bashar al-Assad opponents see an end to the conflict on the horizon; Hillary Clinton sees "the pressure against the regime. .. increasing." But other observers aren't so sure. "The big advances are only in the media," a human rights advocate tells Reuters. Still, he says, "the regime is being exhausted."

  • Russia, which has defended Assad in the UN Security Council, is looking to work with the US to seek peace, CNN reports. The countries plan a "brainstorming meeting" with international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.
  • As reports emerge of regime plans to use chemical weapons, President Obama's stance on US involvement appears to have altered, the New York Times notes. "A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized," Obama said in August. Now, however, he and Clinton have stopped mentioning "moving" in their warnings. Now, the administration is pointing to "consequences" if the weapons are used.
(Read more Syria stories.)

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