Over 40 die as Turkey, US advice to focus military pressure on Damascus
The Syrian regime on Wednesday continued its offensive against the opposition in the surrounding areas of the capital Damascus, Homs and the southern town of Dara'a. At least 43 people died. On its part, the state television reported that the Government is determined to restore order, no matter what.
According to activists, in Damascus area soldiers stormed a number of suburbs with tanks and searched the homes of deserters. Clashes continue in the opposition stronghold of Homs. At least 20 people were killed, including six deserters, said opposition sources.
In Dara'a. dozens of military vehicles invaded the towns of Jassem, Dael, Nawa, Mseifra and Khirbet Ghazal. The regime's forces conducted a massive raid in this region, the birthplace of the dispute in March 2011, arresting over 100 people.
Meanwhile, security sources said that following an American and Turkish advice, the Free Syrian Army has started to focus its actions in Damascus region. The aim is to put further pressure on President Bashar Al Assad and key men of his regime to feel insecure in the capital and leave. If that happened, it would be the end of the reign of al Assad and the Baath Party, according to the sources. However, it must be said that the regime still controls virtually all the country despite the advancement of the rebels.
"The insurgents have realized that by staying in Damascus, the regime could still stay in power for years, but if that changed, this would be the final countdown," said a Turkish diplomat.