Damascus: Assad palace trageted by mortar shells
The Presidential Palace of Bashar al-Assad in Damascus has been targeted on Wednesday by mortars, which although missed their target, reflect the growing capabilities of the rebels to strike at the heart of the Syrian capital.
According to locals, several shells hit at Mezze, a residential area close to the presidential palace and inhabited by many Alawites.
The official media, which speaks of "terrorist" acts, reported three dead and seven injured.
"This operation was carried out in retaliation for the killings in our beloved city," said the "Lions of Islam" in a statement. The rebel movement said to have also attacked an air base and a local intelligence service building in the capital.
It is unclear whether President Assad, which has several residences in Damascus was in his palace at the time of firing.
Syrian state television also announced the death of a judge, Nadoua Abad, who killed by a bomb placed under his car.
Elsewhere, 10 members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), a movement in favor of Bashar al-Assad, died a clash with rebels near the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus.
In a statement, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Damascus "will not tolerate attempts to drag the Palestinians into the current events in Syria."
Meanwhile, the conflict in Syria has taken more than 37,000 lives since its launch in mid-March 2011, said Wednesday the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR). According to the SOHR, since 15 March 2011, at least 26,596 civilians were killed in violence that continues to engulf Syria.
Among the victims, the NGO has counted 9,445 regular soldiers and 1,331 military deserters who joined the rebels who took up arms against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
In its report the London-based organization said: "We must add 498 victims whose identity could not be established," stated the President of the SOHR, Rami Abdel Rahman.
August was the month with the heaviest death toll with 5,440 killed versus 4727 in September and 4985 during October, i.e. a total of 15,152 dead in three months and an average of 165 deaths per day.