Syria: Fighting intensifies around Damascus
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||8 February 2013|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Syria: Fighting intensifies around Damascus, 8 February 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/512235ccc.html [accessed 24 April 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
February 08, 2013
A man stands in an empty street near a burning building hit by a mortar shell fired by Syrian Army soldiers, in the Zamalka neighborhood of Damascus.
Fighting is reported to be intensifying around the Syrian capital Damascus.
Reports say clashes and heavy shelling took place February 7 in districts controlled by opposition fighters as forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad try to reclaim them.
AFP reports government forces have retaken Karnaz, a strategic town on the Damascus-Aleppo highway.
The fighting comes as the Organization for Islamic Cooperation called for "serious dialogue" between the opposition and regime officials open to change and without "blood on their hands."
Reports said Iran, Lebanon and Iraq had reservations over the wording of the final communique from the OIC summit in Cairo. The communique ultimately was not issued.
Meanwhile, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta admitted for the first time that the Pentagon had backed proposals to arm the Syrian rebels, but the White House had rejected the idea.
Based on AFP and Reuters reporting