x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 29 July 2017

Troops and rebels clash, nine killed in Syria

Syria Unrest: Fierce fighting between regime troops and rebels erupted today near Damascus and in Homs province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, while reporting nine more people killed across restive Syria.

Fierce fighting between regime troops and rebels erupted today near Damascus and in Homs province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, while reporting nine more people killed across restive Syria.

The Britain-based watchdog said that five people were killed in the Damascus suburb of Douma, a hotbed of anti-regime sentiment, but could give no further details.

"No information was available yet on whether they were rebels or civilians," Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the watchdog, told AFP.

The Observatory said that "heavy fighting between troops and rebels took place overnight" at Sitt Zeinab, a southern suburb of Damascus, adding that "two powerful explosions were also heard" in the area.

Blasts and gunfire were also heard in Hajar Aswad and Qadam neighbourhoods of Damascus, the Observatory said.

Similar battles were also reported in Qutaife in Damascus province and a civilian was killed by gunfire in Daraya in the night, it said.

In Homs, in central Syria, a rebel fighter, Adnan Darwish, was killed by a shell thrown at his car near Rastan, the watchdog said.

Also in Homs, explosions and gunfire were heard in the district of Khaldiyeh, while blasts rocked another suburb, Qusayr.

Two people were killed in the region of Hama when fighting took place in the town of Kafarzita between troops and rebels, the Observatory said. Later, in Hama city, residents held a general strike to mourn the deaths of the two men.

On Tuesday a total of 98 people, including 61 civilians, were killed in violence across Syria amid raging clashes between regime troops and rebels, the Observatory said.

More than 13,000 people have been killed, most of them civilians, since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime erupted in March last year, according to the Observatory.