Syrian troops and rebels open new battlefront near Damascus

By REUTERS
March 13, 2013 14:59

AMMAN - Heavy fighting erupted in an area between Damascus and the Golan Heights on Wednesday in what could be a new battlefront between Syrian troops and rebels, opposition sources said.

Rebel fighters attacked an army barracks manned by elite Republican Guards and the Fourth Mechanised Division, headed by President Bashar Assad's brother Maher, in Khan Sheih, 6 km from the outskirts of Damascus, civilian activists and an opposition military source said.

Clashes intensified three days after Sunni Muslim rebels overran a missile squadron in the area, killing 30 soldiers, mostly from Assad's minority Alawite sect, the sources said.

The region also hosts a Palestinian refugee camp.


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