Damascus

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Internet Back Up in Syria's Capital

It was down for two days amid heavy fighting around Damascus

(Newser) - Syria's Internet blackout has lifted in the capital of Damascus and other key cities, at least for the time being, reports the BBC and al-Jazeera . Access went down two days ago across the nation, with most observers blaming the government. The blackout has made reports sketchy, though rebels cite... More »

Syria Turns Off the Internet

Meanwhile, rebels block off airport

(Newser) - Someone appears to have completely cut off Syria's Internet access, two US-based monitoring companies reported today. Landlines and mobile phone signals have been cut off as well in at least some parts of Damascus, another activist tells the Guardian . The government has cut off phone and Internet access in... More »

2 Car Bombs Kill Dozens in Damascus

Twin bombs went off in a parking lot between two commercial buildings

(Newser) - Twin car bombs ripped through a Damascus suburb today, killing at least 34 people and leaving dozens critically wounded, according to state media and hospital officials. State news agency SANA said two cars packed with explosives detonated within five minutes of each other early in the morning just before employees... More »

Syria Wipes Out 10 Kids on Playground: Report

Activists say cluster bomb caused fatalities

(Newser) - The death toll in Syria has hit 40,000 , but the 10 latest reported deaths stand out: children killed on a playground by a cluster bomb yesterday, according to opposition activists. Videos of the carnage in Deir al-Asafir were posted online, reports the BBC , and show a woman weeping over... More »

Syrian Rebels Kill Top Assad General

Abdullah Mahmoud al-Khalidi was senior Air Force general

(Newser) - A senior Air Force general has been assassinated by members of the Free Syrian Army in Damascus late Monday, says Syria's state-run news channel. Rebels took responsibility for his death and claimed to have also killed an air force intelligence official in the fell swoop, reports the BBC . The... More »

Damascus Blast Kills 10

Explosion in Christian area comes as UN envoy visits

(Newser) - An explosion hit the Old City of Damascus today, killing at least 10 people and wounding dozens of other civilians, Syrian activists said. It came as President Bashar al-Assad discussed the civil war in his country with visiting UN peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi. The blast targeted a police station in... More »

Now Syrian Rebels Have Missiles

Meanwhile, war reaches Damascus, the wealthy

(Newser) - This could change things: Some Syrian rebels now have antiaircraft missiles, rebels and regional officials say. Video footage appears to show the rebels using such weapons, which have been smuggled into the country, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rebels say they downed a military helicopter yesterday, one of at least... More »

Reporter Killed by Sniper in Syria During Live Broadcast

As military HQ is hit by 2 explosions

(Newser) - Damascus has been rocked by bombings for the past two days, with at least two large blasts hitting Syria's military headquarters there this morning. The Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility for the attack, said to be the largest since July explosions killed President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law and other... More »

Assad Rains Leaflets on Damascus: 'Surrender or Die'

In interview, he suggests he's dug in for the long haul

(Newser) - Syrian government helicopters rained fliers across Damascus yesterday telling rebels to surrender or "die a dishonorable death." One of the fliers was a "safe passage card," promising humane treatment for fighters who showed up at a checkpoint unarmed, the Washington Post reports. Rebels fear the fliers... More »

Syrian Rebels Report New 200+ Massacre

More than 200 executed by Syrian forces in Daraya

(Newser) - Another grisly massacre is being reported from Syria today, with activists saying that more than 200 bodies killed execution-style have been discovered in Daraya, a blue-collar Sunni town southwest of Damascus, reports Reuters . Government tanks swept into Daraya on Aug. 23 , killing many, and were apparently followed by house-to-house raids... More »

Damascus Wakes Up to Bodies in Street

Fighting intense in capital

(Newser) - Syrian regime tanks swept into a Damascus suburb yesterday, killing 25 people and wounding 200 more, opposition activists said today. Government forces met with little resistance there, Reuters reports; rebels had already cleared out of the town. Damascus isn't getting as much press as Aleppo , but it's become... More »

Air France Crew to Fliers: Could You Chip in for Gas?

Air France plane makes unscheduled Syria landing

(Newser) - Travel nightmare No. 1: Your flight out of Paris makes an unscheduled stop in the volatile capital of ... Syria. And No. 2: Your crew asks passengers to help cover the cost of refueling. That's what happened to Air France Flight 562 on Wednesday, when tensions near its destination—the... More »

Syrian Rebels: We Need a No-Fly Zone

20 killed near Damascus yesterday

(Newser) - As clashes continue in Aleppo and Damascus, a Syrian rebel leader is reaching out to the West for help: It's time for a no-fly zone, says Syrian National Council head Abdelbasset Sida. The opposition is making gains, "but the problem is the aircraft, in addition to the artillery... More »

Regime to Wage Huge Attack on Aleppo in Days: Rebels

Assad's forces are pounding city, but more troops are apparently en route

(Newser) - Assad's forces continue to pound Aleppo today, with state TV announcing that the regime is "cleansing the terrorist filth" from the country. Reuters reports that tanks are shelling the city as a helicopter sprays the rebels with machine-gun fire, and a correspondent there reported violent street fighting in... More »

Syrian Forces Pound Aleppo, Damascus

Government wants to retake two most important cities

(Newser) - The UN General Assembly may have formally condemned the violence in Syria yesterday, but today Bashar al-Assad's regime made clear what it thinks of the rebuke: Not much. Government forces are reportedly waging a fierce assault on rebel positions in Aleppo, and they've also launched an attack on... More »

Helicopters Pound Aleppo

Mosques close as civilians flee Damascus, Aleppo

(Newser) - Syrian helicopters have kept up the heavy attacks on Aleppo today, as the military continues to build its force on the city's outskirts in anticipation of a possible all-out invasion of the country's commercial capital, reports the New York Times . But despite the possibility of serious civilian casualties,... More »

Syria Showdown: Regime Descends on Aleppo, Damascus

Syrian forces pulling out of country to retake biggest 2 cities

(Newser) - Heavy shelling was reported today in Aleppo and Damascus, as government forces and rebels both gear up for a major showdown, reports Reuters . The Syrian military is sending convoys of tanks, troop carriers, and other hardware to the vital central cities, leaving rebels in control of much of the countryside.... More »

Syria: Here's When We'd Use Chemical Weapons

Not against rebels, but possibly against 'external aggression': official

(Newser) - Despite recent reports that Syria may be preparing to use its chemical weapons, a foreign ministry spokesperson today tried to assure the world that they will not be used on the Syrian people—officially acknowledging for the first time that the country actually has such weapons, reports Reuters . "Any... More »

Syria Sees Deadliest 2 Days Since Uprising Began

More than 550 reported killed as fighting continues in key city

(Newser) - Fighting continues for the second straight day in the strategically important Syrian city of Aleppo, reports AP and al-Jazeera . Syria's "second city," which is heavily populated by elites who have benefited from the regime of Bashar al-Assad, has largely avoided violence until now. Anti-government troops are apparently... More »

US Prepares for Assad’s Fall

Panetta: Syria 'spinning out of control'

(Newser) - Describing the suicide blast that killed Bashar al-Assad's security chiefs yesterday as a turning point, American officials are now getting ready for the Syrian regime's collapse, reports the New York Times . Pentagon officials have urged the Israelis not to attack Syrian weapons facilities, fearing that such a move... More »

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