Heavy Fighting in Syrian Capital (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Chana Ya´ar 07/16/12)
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Heavy fighting has been reported in the heart of Damascus, with the
main highway to the south of the country severed, news agencies have
reported. On Sunday, the country´s international airport was shut
down by the clashes.
Some of the worst fighting since the 16-month civil war began in
March 2011 were seen about a mile from the airport highway Monday
morning. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the
fighting was centered in the Damascus districts of Tadamon, Midan and
"It seems there is a new strategy [by the Free Syrian Army] to bring
the fighting into the center of the capital,” opposition activist
Mustafa Osso told reporters. "The capital used to be safe. This will
threaten the regime.”
There have been reports that opposition forces currently control more
than 50 percent of the country.
Some 200,000 Syrian refugees have managed to cross the southern
border and fled to safety in Jordan. Thousands more have done the
same in the north and east, fleeing to the neighboring countries of
Lebanon and Turkey.
Morocco said Monday it had asked Syrian Ambassador Nabih Ismail to
leave and declared him persona non grata, calling for a transition to
democracy that would meet the Syrian people´s aspirations for freedom.
Earlier in the day, rumours had circulated that the ambassador to
Rabat, had also defected to the rebel side. A Syrian embassy official
denied this but had no further comment.
Morocco´s foreign ministry did not immediately explain the timing or
the reason for its decision to expel Ismail, but said in a statement
the situation in Syria "cannot remain as it is".
It added that Morocco wished for "an efficient and resolute action to
ensure a political transition towards a democratic setup that
guarantees Syria´s unity, stability and regional safety to achieve
the brotherly Syrian people´s aspirations for dignity, freedom and
Morocco recalled its own ambassador to Damascus in November 2011.
Monday´s decision was the latest in a series of diplomatic expulsions
that has seen Damascus increasingly isolated as anti-Assad rebels
Reuters news service contributed to this report (IsraelNationalNews ©
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