News / Middle East

Fighting Continues in Syria; Rebels Move Command Center

Syrian men salvage belongings from a destroyed buildings in the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, September 21, 2012.
Syrian men salvage belongings from a destroyed buildings in the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria, September 21, 2012.
VOA News
Government and opposition forces waged fierce battles across Syria on Saturday, as the rebel Free Syrian Army announced it was moving its command center from Turkey to Syria.

Opposition activists say at least 25 people have been killed as security forces pounded targets. They say some of the worst unrest is in the Aleppo region, where the military has launched raids to try to dislodge rebels from their strongholds.

Meanwhile, the Free Syrian Army (FSA), comprised mostly of military defectors, released a video saying it is moving its command to "liberated areas" of Syria.

FSA Colonel Riad al-Assad said the group hopes to launch an offensive on Damascus.

Ausama Monajed, of the opposition Syrian National Council, says the shift to a Syrian base will benefit rebel fighters.

"The rebel fighters can organize and have a better chain of command and expand their operations from there," he said.

In a VOA interview, Monajed says rebel fighters have improved their tactics, strategies and weaponry but currently are not ready to take on Damascus.

On Friday, the Egyptian weekly Al-Ahram Al-Araby published an interview with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, in which he says opposition fighters would never been victorious in battles against his government.

In other developments, Turkish media reports say that country has deployed military vehicles to the Syrian border because of heavy fighting in the area.

Also, Lebanon says Syrian militants attacked a Lebanese army post near its border with Syria late Friday. Lebanese officials say there were no casualties.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the government and the opposition in Syria appear determined to resolve the crisis militarily. Mr. Ban said Syria will be a top issue as he meets with world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly next week.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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Comment Sorting
by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 24, 2012 8:16 AM
What is the agenda of the opposition Free Syrian Army? How can we be goaded into voting or vouching for a party without manifesto just because the ruling party has been too long in office? Yes Assad has stayed too long, but that is what Syria's constitution - if there's any - provided for running the country. The voice of reform should not come through violence and mayhem, which have been the only manifesto of the opposition we can see. The opposition Free Syria Army does not include all of Syria, instead it incorporates the most dangerous militant groups from within and outside the Middle East whose private agenda will far worsen the situation on the ground in the region. It is a big surprise that USA and Europe became easily swayed by the front of change of government. Democracy is just about change of baton, it is much more than the idea of hearing opposition voice. It is about its inclusiveness of all accounting segments of a population unit governed by the acceptable rules they have previously agreed upon. And the Assad's more than the opposition meets this goal. Let the international community help Syria settle this problem in an agreeable standard, except if Syria is to be used for testing of newly manufactured weapons.

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