Eight Children Among 45 Slain as Syria Pounds Damascus Suburbs

Daraya Sees Heaviest Bombing in Months

by Jason Ditz, January 14, 2013

Eight children were reported killed today in a series of air strikes against rebel-held Damascus suburbs. Multiple suburbs were hit, with Daraya reportedly seeing the heaviest shelling it has in months.

All told the strikes have killed 45 people in the past 24 hours according to estimates. The rebel-held areas are under attack off and on pretty much constantly, but there was no explanation for this latest escalation in strikes.

Daraya, however, is the most strategically valuable of the Sunni suburbs, not far from both the Interior Ministry and a major air base. Syrian officials have suggested in the past they intend to retake the suburb.

This is in stark contrast to their treatment of other Sunni suburbs, which they have more or less ceded to the rebels as a way to force rebel fighters to commit more of their troops to policing the areas instead of trying to expand deeper into the capital.

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