Heavy clashes erupt in south Syria near Jordan border

By REUTERS
March 5, 2012 06:08

AMMAN - Heavy fighting broke out overnight between armored forces loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebels who launched coordinated attacks on army roadblocks across the southern city of Deraa on the border with Jordan, opposition activists said on Monday.

"The Free Syrian Army attacked several roadblocks and street fortifications simultaneously. Tanks are responding by firing 14 mm anti-aircraft guns into residential neighborhoods and army snipers are shooting at everything that moves, even nylon bags," Maher Abdelhaq, one of the activists, told Reuters from Deraa.

Opposition sources said rebels loosely organized under the Free Syrian Army banner have intensified assaults on loyalist targets in southern, north and eastern Syria in the last few days to relieve pressure on the besieged city of Homs, where troops overran an opposition Sunni Muslim district last week.

The reports could not be independently verified.

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