Syria: Some 160 Dead Over Weekend As Government Forces Retake Rebel Town


Repression and fighting between army and rebels killed at least 82 people in Syria Saturday. The death toll included 30 civilians, who were killed by a shell while participating in a funeral procession in Zamalka, 10 kilometers east of Damascus, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

These killings came as member countries of the Task Force on Syria agreed in Geneva on Saturday on a political transition, paving the way for the “post-Assad” Syria, according to the United States. Neither the authorities nor the opposition have so far responded to this agreement.

The UK-based SOHR has called on the ICRC to send “urgent” medical teams in Douma, a rebellious city located about fifteen kilometers Damascus, which has been bombed since June 21. There are reports that pro-regime forces re-took control of this city last night.

Dozens of people have been killed and hundreds wounded in Douma since June 21. The humanitarian situation is “catastrophic at all levels,” said the SOHR, citing a shortage in food, water and electricity.

Many residents fled, but “more than 100 families, women and children, are trapped in shelters. They are terrified by the shelling and shooting. The men were arrested or killed by the police,” added the SOHR. “The security forces took control of Douma’s main hospital. There is no doctor in town and there are dozens of people who require urgent care,” said the SOHR, calling on the International Committee of Red Cross and the Syrian Red Crescent to “send emergency medical teams.”

The official news agency SANA, for its part, said the police discovered “three armories in Douma by storming hideouts of terrorist groups” and they will continue their operations to “purge the city of these terrorists.”

In the capital, 10 military trucks carrying soldiers and vehicles equipped with machine guns entered the district of Hajar al-Aswad, where the regime’s forces stormed the houses of militants and soldiers who defected.

Fighting between soldiers and rebels in the district of Damascus Jobar and Ain Tarma were reported. In the same region, four soldiers died in the explosion of their car near Rankouss. In Deir Ezzor, eight civilians were killed by shells and gunfire, and a rebel officer was killed in fighting with regular troops. In Idleb (northwest), a couple and their son were killed in bombings against the village of Hish. Six other civilians were killed in shootings in other localities, the SOHR reported.

On Friday, violence in the country had killed at least 75 people, according to the Observatory.

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