Clashes continue as Syrian MP defects

Published July 27th, 2012 - 11:07 GMT

Sixteen civilians were killed in bombing attacks by the Syrian army on the village of Yalda, south of Damascus , said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR). According to the NGO, five children under sixteen and four women were among the victims of the shelling. According to a statement by the General Committee of the Revolution, this new "massacre" was perpetrated by "helicopters that fired on the village" and some houses collapsed on their inhabitants.

Nearly 50 people were killed Thursday in violence in Syria, according to a preliminary assessment by the SOHR.

Meanwhile, helicopters fired Friday on some quarters of Aleppo and troops massed near this Syrian second largest city for a crucial battle between the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the rebels.

One week after the opening of this new front, the regime's special forces were deployed on the eastern flank of the city and other troops arrived to participated in a massive offensive, according to opposition sources. The United States said on Thursday it was fearing a massacre in Aleppo.

In a related development, a member of the Syrian parliament representing the city of Aleppo, Ikhlas al Badawi, Friday became the fourth member to defect. "I crossed the Turkish border and left this tyrannical regime because of the repression and savage torture to which it uses against a nation that calls for minimum rights," she told Sky News Arabia.

"She arrived yesterday [Thursday] in Turkey with her six children and is expected to visit Qatar, "confirmed Samir Nashar, a member of the Syrian National Council (SNC). He said the Syrian authorities have asked MPs to leave Aleppo, because the city "could be subjected to a military offensive [against the rebels] in the coming days."

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