Accessibility links

At Least 130 Dead in Syria Fighting

  • VOA News

At least 130 people died Tuesday in Syria, in a wave of air strikes, bombings, ground battles and assassinations, as violence between government forces and rebels escalated in Damascus and Aleppo. The brother of the country's parliamentary speaker was shot dead as he drove to work in Damascus.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Syrian warplanes killed 19 civilians and wounded more than 60 others in the Idib town of Saraqeb.

The killing of Mohammed Osama Laham, brother to parliament speaker Jihad Laham, is the latest in a wave of assassinations targeting Syrian officials, army officers and other prominent supporters of President Bashar al-Assad.

Four of the president's top security aides were killed in July, in a rebel bombing of state security headquarters in Damascus, including the defense minister and Assad's brother-in-law.

More than 200 people died Monday, in the country's worst 24 hours of violence in weeks.

On the diplomatic front, British Prime Minister David Cameron suggested that Assad could be allowed safe passage out of the country if that option would guarantee an end to the nation's civil war.

In an interview with Al Arabiya television, Cameron said the international community should consider anything "to get that man out of the country and to have a safe transition in Syria."

Meanwhile, the opposition continued to meet in Qatar under pressure to form a truly representative government-in-exile. No progress was reported.

The Syrian conflict, which began as a protest movement against the rule of President Assad, is entering its 20th month. An estimated 36,000 people have died as the protests erupted earlier this year into full-blown civil war.