Violence in Syria killed more than 36,000 people in nearly 20 months of conflict as blood continued to flow Wednesday with a bombing near a Shiite shrine south of Damascus. Meanwhile, the Syrian warplanes bombed relentlessly a suburb of Damascus, which is considered as a stronghold of the rebels.
The violence has claimed more than 36,000 lives since the beginning of the revolt in March 15, 2011, including 25,667 civilians, said the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights (SOHR). The number of soldiers killed has reached 9,044 while 1,296 deserters died, said the London-based NGO. These tolls do not include the thousands of missing persons.
August was the bloodiest month with 5,440 killed compared to 4,727 in September and October 4985, i.e. a total of 15,152 people died in three months and an average of 165 deaths per day.
On Wednesday, a suicide took place near Sayeda Zeinab, an important Shiite shrine in the south-east of Damascus, killing six people and injuring 13, according to Syrian television and eight dead and "dozens wounded," according to SOHR. "The device placed inside a motorcycle near the Yasser Hotel, has killed at least eight people and left dozens wounded," said the organization. The official SANA news agency reported that "the explosive device was placed in a trash bag in a busy street in the city."
This comes as the Syrian air force bombed suburbs of the capital, where the rebels are firmly entrenched in the aftermath of a bloody day marked by the first raid of a fighter-bomber in Damascus, according to the SOHR. "The warplanes carried out five raids in agricultural areas around the towns of Saqba and Douma and there was visible smoke," according to the organization.
In the province of Idleb, in the northwest of the country, violent clashes occurred between soldiers and rebels who attacked military posts on the highway near Jisr al-Shughour. In addition, aircraft bombed the villages of Deir Sharqi, Maar Shemcha and Maaret al-Noomane, a strategic town located on the highway linking Damascus to Aleppo. To the east of this village, the rebels and al-Jihadi Nosra Front are still trying to take control of the Wadi Deif military base.
In the east of the country, Nosra Front fighters were also engaged in a battle in Deir Ezzor, where the army is trying to regain control on neighborhoods taken by rebels as warplanes bombarded the town of Mohassen, which is an important stronghold of the rebels.
On its part, the Syrian official Thawra newspaper wrote: "it is clear that the resolution of the crisis is just through a political solution and this can be done through negotiations between the various parties involved to prevent the hostile policy of the West and those who want divide the country according to U.S. plans."