Assad air force back in action in Damascus, hitting rebels

September 10, 2013 19:47


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AMMAN- Syrian warplanes bombed rebel suburbs of Damascus on Tuesday for the first time in three weeks, in an offensive that opposition activists said showed President Bashar Assad no longer feared attack by the United States.

Not seen in action around the capital since before Aug. 21, when hundreds of people were killed in a poison gas attack that Western powers blame on Assad, government jets mounted attacks on three areas, some in support of assaults on the ground.

As world leaders discussed a Russian proposal to confiscate Syria's chemical weapons and avert US and French action, some of the heaviest fighting was in Barzeh, just north of central Damascus, where residents and opposition activists said air strikes and tank fire supported thrusts by pro-Assad militia.

The Syrian state news agency said troops "inflicted casualties on terrorists" in Barzeh and neighboring Qaboun.

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