Syria troops shell rebel areas15/06/2012 - 11:13:59
Syrian troops have shelled rebel-held areas and clashed with opposition fighters in several locations across the country today, activists said.
The assault is part of a regime offensive to recover territories controlled by rebels which began earlier this week.
The Local Co-ordination Committees and Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said troops bombarded the northern town of Anadan in the northern Aleppo province today. The Observatory said one person was killed.
The groups said troops have also shelled the rebel-held areas of Khaldieh and Jouret al-Shayah in the central Homs province.
Syrian troops have been sweeping through villages and towns in Syria’s northern, central, southern and seaside provinces this week.
It appears to be the largest offensive since an internationally-brokered ceasefire went into effect two months ago.
UN observers yesterday entered the nearly deserted town of Haffa in the coastal Latakia province, a day after the military overran it pushing out hundreds of rebels after intense battles.
The observers found smouldering buildings, looted shops, smashed cars and a strong stench of death, according to UN spokeswoman Sausan Ghosheh.
The siege of Haffa, a Sunni-populated village, had become a focus of international concern because of fears the uprising against President Bashar Assad is evolving into a sectarian civil war pitting his minority Alawite sect against the majority Sunnis and other groups.
Recent mass killings in other Sunni-populated areas have fed those concerns.
The fighting was mirrored in other parts of Syria, where more than 40 civilians and opposition fighters were killed yesterday, according to activists, alongside more than a half-dozen Syrian forces.
The fighting included clashes in the town of Hamuriya, near Damascus, that killed at least nine men who were allegedly butchered with knives. A video circulated by activists showed a pile of lifeless men, including one who was clearly slashed through the neck.
Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the Observatory, urged observers to “immediately investigate” the men’s slaughter.
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