Army defectors battle Syrian forces as general strike is observed

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).

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Published Sunday, December 11, 2011

A general strike swept across Syria on Sunday as hundreds of army defectors fought government forces near the border with Jordan, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

Government troops from the 12th Armored Brigade stormed the town of Busra al-Harir in the south and explosions with heavy machine-gun fire were heard near Lujah, a hill outside the town, that army defectors are believed to be using as a base to launch attacks on military supply lines, the group said.

The general strike was being "very widely observed" especially in Daraa and Homs, the SOHR added.

School children and civil servants reportedly stayed home on Sunday.

While the opposition is planning a sustained campaign of civil disobedience in the wake of the strike including shutting down universities, public transport, and major highways, the Syrian National Council (SNC) has warned of a possible assault on Homs.

Hundreds of armored vehicles are staged outside of Homs and checkpoints have been set up throughout the city, according to the the SNC.

The US, France, and Britain warned Damascus over the weekend against any bloodshed in Homs.

Meanwhile, former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri said on Sunday that the bombing in south Lebanon that wounded five UNIFIL troops was a message from Syria.

"Another message from Syria,” Hariri wrote on his Twitter page.

The roadside bomb struck a jeep carrying French troops between the villages of Burj al-Shamali and Housh, in southern Lebanon, according to a local source.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

His comments come as concern grows that violence in Syria could spill over into neighboring Lebanon.

(Al-Akhbar, Reuters, AFP)

Comments

The'observatory' needs to be an observatory to capture events taking place 3000 miles away. It probably was aiming its telescope to Mars... since no report of a 'strike' that 'swept' Syria is made - not even in the Islamists' Website...

But one does observe at least two patterns, so far:

1. Aljezeera describes a non-existent demonstration.
2. A few hours later, the demonstration materializes.

The last such observation was described by personnel of the Russian Cultural Center in Damascus.

The other pattern is:

1. The 'observatory' based in London publishes a figure - no more real than its Human Rights efforts, being a partisan in the conflict financed by the Islamists in Paris and the Qatar government, with the blessing of the British government.
2. Al-Jazeera quotes the 'observatory.'
3. When the 'observatory' is asked for new details, it cites Al-Jazeera...

Clever stuff!

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