Syrian army kills 130 in fight for Damascus suburbs, say rebels

Updated - November 16, 2021 11:06 pm IST

Published - October 12, 2013 05:01 pm IST - Cairo

The death of 130 rebels and civilians was an execution carried out by the Syrian government and its Shiite allies, alleged Syria’s opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) on Saturday.

They were killed in the town of al-Ziyabiya amid battles to control southern Damascus suburbs, which began two days ago.

“The army of (Syrian President Bashar) al-Assad and their agents — the Iranian militia of Hezbollah and some Iraqi Shiites loyal to Tehran — have executed 130 men in areas near al-Ziyabiya,” FSA spokesman Louay al-Mokdad said.

“We call on the world community to immediately look into this new massacre committed by the tyrant regime of al-Assad,” Mr. al-Mokdad said.

The State-run SANA news agency reported that government forces managed to fully control al-Ziyabiya and had killed many “terrorists at the outskirts of the Bouayda suburb”. The report added that the armed forces continued to advance towards Bouayda and Hujeira in a move aimed at “cleansing the area from terrorists”, a term used by the regime to identify opposition fighters.

Rami Abdel-Rahman, head of the opposition watchdog Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said “we have information that there were some fighters and people trapped inside al-Ziyabiya, as the Syrian army were storming the area, but we still know nothing about their fate”. State television showed pictures of what it claimed was ammunition “left by the dead terrorists” in the area of Sheikh Omar, between al-Ziyabiya and Bouayda.

An army source told SANA that restoring security and stability in the towns of Husseiniya and al-Ziyabiya “will tighten the grip on the terrorists, who are still hauled up in Bouayda and Hujeira”.

More than 100,000 people have been killed in the conflict, which began in March 2011 with anti-government protests, according to the United Nations.

One child killed

Syria’s state news agency says two mortar rounds struck an upscale neighbourhood in the Syrian capital of Damascus, killing a child and injuring 11 people.

The Abu Roumaneh area where the mortars struck on Saturday is several hundred metres from a hotel where international inspectors are based during their mission to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons.

The SANA agency says one shell hit near a school and the other on the roof of a building. It says the child killed in the attack was eight years old and that the shells damaged several shops and cars.

Rebels fighting to topple the Syrian regime routinely fire mortar shells from the outskirts of Damascus at neighbourhoods controlled by the government of President Bashar al-Assad.

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