Syrian Govt, Rebels Trade Fire, Killing 50 Around Damascus

Over 100 Wounded in Exchange of Fire

Syrian warplanes pounded rebel-held suburbs of Damascus today, while the rebels targeted government-held neighborhoods in the capital city, leaving at least 50 dead and over 120 wounded between the two of them.

The artillery strikes came first, hitting upper-class neighborhoods in Damascus, and kill 13 people. The rebels said the attacks were meant to show that they consider visiting Iranian FM Javad Zarif ‘unwelcome” in the country.

The Syrian military responded against the rebel-held areas, killing 37 people. In both cases, a lot of the casualties appear to have been civilians, and there was no specific target apart from the opposing side’s territory.

The Syrian government has reached a two-day ceasefire with al-Qaeda dominated rebels in several towns, but none of them are among the area fought today, and al-Qaeda rebels aren’t heavily in metro Damascus, suggesting that these limited ceasefires are simply moving the focuses of the strikes around the country.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.