Rebels block off key Damascus highway
Rebels pushed forward in their battle with the Syrian army in Damascus Friday, clashing with regime soldiers in contested neighborhoods in the northeast and shutting down a key highway out of the capital with a row of burning tires, activist said.
Meanwhile in the northern city of Safireh, Islamist rebels with the Nusra Front killed seven Syrian soldiers at a checkpoint, after losing more than 100 men in the area over the past 72 hours, an opposition human rights activist group said.
The latest fighting in Damascus, some of the heaviest to hit the city since July, began Wednesday with a series of rebel attacks on regime checkpoints along the main road from Damascus to northern Syria. Opposition fighters and government forces have been clashing in the area since, and regime troops have also responded by shelling a number of rebel-held districts nearby.
Still, the offensive did not appear to be coordinated with rebels on other sides of Damascus and it was unclear whether the rebels would be able to hold their ground.
Rebels also battled government troops in the southern neighborhood of Yarmouk, as well as in the rebel-held suburbs of Daraya and Moadamieh, where six people died in a government shelling attack, it said.
Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Feb-09/205723-rebels-block-off-key-damascus-highway.ashx#ixzz2KO6JCxn0
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)