Army defectors attack Syrian security complex, 1,180 prisoners released

Al-Akhbar is currently going through a transitional phase whereby the English website is available for Archival purposes only. All new content will be published in Arabic on the main website (www.al-akhbar.com).

Al-Akhbar Management

Published Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Army defectors attacked an air force intelligence complex near Damascus on Wednesday, the Free Syrian Army said in a statement on Facebook.

"The Free Syrian Army has conducted several operations across Damascus in an attempt to thwart the [Assad] regime's effort to terrorize our people and to prove that the Free Syrian Army is capable of attacking the regime at any time," the statement read.

The reported attack on the air force intelligence complex near the Damascus suburb of Harasta is the first major assault on a Syrian intelligence facility.

The Free Syrian Army also reported heavy clashes with Syrian forces in the Damascus neighborhoods of Douma, Harbeen, Hmourba, Sakba, and Ash al-Woroud.

The attacks cannot be independently verified, and the Syrian government has yet to confirm whether the incidents took place.

Meanwhile, Syria announced it released 1,180 prisoners involved in the uprising on Tuesday, according to Syria's official news agency, SANA.

Mounting international pressure

The intensifying violence comes amid international diplomatic pressure to resolve the Syrian crisis.

Former Assad ally, Turkey, has withdrawn joint oil exploration with Syria and threatened to impose energy sanctions.

"A future cannot be built on the blood of the innocent, otherwise history will remember those leaders as the ones who feed on blood," Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan warned Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Turkey's hardened stance towards Syria has been welcomed by the US, with Washington seeking to increase international pressure to push Assad to resign.

"He [Assad] should step down because it's in the best interests of his people," deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said.

"We very much welcome the strong stand that Turkey has taken. It sends a critical message to President Assad that again he cannot crack down and repress the aspirations of his people," Rhodes added.

Similar words were echoed by key US ally, Jordan's King Abdullah, who became the first Arab head of state to publicly call for Assad's resignation.

"I believe, if I were in his shoes, I would step down," the king said in a BBC interview on Monday.

Abdullah presides over a Jordanian monarchy who, like Assad, has resisted substantial democratic reform amidst growing domestic unrest as part of the Arab Spring.

Despite growing pressure from the West and a number of Arab states, Russia continues to resist calls for increased isolation of the Assad regime.

Meeting a delegation of the opposition Syrian National Council (SNC) in Moscow yesterday, Russia rejected an SNC request to demand Assad's resignation. Rather, Russian officials urged the SNC to enter dialogue with the Syrian regime, a move the Istanbul-based opposition has refused.

Meanwhile, Syria has said it will not attend a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Rabat on Wednesday to discuss the Syrian crisis.

The six oil-rich Arab states represented in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) rejected Syria's request for an emergency Arab League summit to review its suspension.

(al-Akhbar, AFP)

Comments

I suppose I should publish article titled "netaniahu wants peace with Palestine", and then, only in the body mentioning that it was a words by hasabra.

What kind of journalism it is? To parrot NATO's lackeys not known for their truthfulness, to put it mildly, without even inverted commas in the title?

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