x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Syrian protesters attack own embassy in Jordan

About a dozen Syrians attacked their embassy in Amman, wounding at least two diplomats and four other consulate employees.

BEIRUT // Syrian troops battled army defectors in clashes that left several military vehicles in flames. The fighting and other violence around the nation killed at least five people, activists said.

For the first time, an act of violent protest against the regime of President Bashar Al Assad spilled across the border into Jordan. About a dozen Syrians attacked their embassy in Amman, wounding at least two diplomats and four other consulate employees.

The uprising has grown increasingly violent in recent months as once-peaceful protesters take up arms and rebel soldiers fight back against the army.

The UN says more than 4,000 people have been killed since March.

Mr Al Assad has refused to buckle under Arab and international pressure to step down and has shown no signs of easing his crackdown, which has included assaults by the military on unarmed protesters.

Now, fighting between loyalist forces and defectors calling themselves the Free Syrian Army threatens to push the confrontation into civil war.

In one of yesterday's clashes, which took place before dawn in the town of Kfar Takharim, two of the military's armoured vehicles were set ablaze, said the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.