Rebels: At Least 80 Killed as Syrian Troops Retake Damascus Suburb

Different Groups Claim Wildly Different Figures in Offensive

Five days of heavy fighting has subsided, and Syria’s government is back in control of Jdaidet al-Fadl, a suburb of the capital city of Damascus. Heavy fighting left at least 80 people dead, according to rebel accounts, with at least some civilians among the slain.

But as has so often been the case with no media on the ground, different rebel groups were telling wildly different stories with different death tolls. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which quoted 80 as their “official” total, said some groups were claiming 250, a toll echoed by Jamal al-Golani, a rebel leader, who told Reuters that they believe over 250 died. The BBC claimed unnamed groups were putting the toll as high as 450.

Syria’s state media also reported on the fighting but completely dodged the question of a death toll, saying only that they inflicted “heavy losses” on the rebels who had been in control of the suburb.

Golani said he believes the battle was lost from day one, as Jdaidet was surrounded by Syrian army forces in every direction. Syria’s military has long left pro-rebel suburbs in rebel hands, figuring that so long as they were surrounded they posed no real threat to the capital. Recently, however, it looks as though they are looking to reclaim some lost territory here and elsewhere.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.