Reports have at least 19 people killed today in heavy fighting in suburban Damascus, as the Syrian army has dispatched a large number of soldiers to contest the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which captured the suburb of Saqba on Friday and has been active across the area.
The FSA, which is made up of defectors from the Syrian military and is based in Turkey, denied that the fighting was having any impact on their operations, and said they are making “steady progress” in their march on the capital city.
The Syrian military has dispatched a number of armored vehicles around Damascus’ eastern suburbs, fighting defectors armed mostly with looted weapons. The Syrian government reported an IED attack in Sahnaya, which destroyed a bus carrying Syrian soldiers, killing six and wounding six others.
Fighting has been on the rise over the past week in Syria, and the Arab League has ended its monitoring mission, with plans to push for a United Nations Security Council resolution demanding Assad step down.
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