Syrian troops storm Damascus refugee area, chase rebels

by
September 9, 2012

By Oliver Holmes, REuters

BEIRUT | Syrian government troops stormed an area of Damascus populated by Palestinian refugees on Saturday after a four-day artillery assault on the southern suburb where rebels have been sheltering, opposition activists said.

President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have largely preferred to use air power and artillery to hit areas where rebels are dug in, deploying infantry only once many have fled. Activists said the new ground onslaught put civilians at risk.

The almost 18-month-old conflict also spilled further over borders when three rockets fired from Syria crashed into an Iraqi frontier town, killing a 5-year-old girl, according to local inhabitants and Iraqi officials.

Anxious to end the bloodshed, European Union diplomats said on Saturday the 27-nation bloc might impose new sanctions on the Syrian government as soon as next month.

Speaking after visiting a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he saw “the first signs of erosion in the regime of Assad”.

“It is necessary we isolate the regime of Bashar al-Assad,” he told a news conference.

To read more, visit:  http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/08/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE8860TF20120908

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