Syria: Hizbullah launches rockets on civilians as third MP defects

Published January 17th, 2012 - 08:03 GMT

According to sources close to the Syrian opposition, Lebanon's Hizbullah fighters have carried out rocket attacks against civilians in the region of Damascus. The Syrian rebels, who did not provide any evidence for their claim, said the attack was deliberately coordinated by the regime of Bashar al-Assad. They added this was not the first attack by the Iran-backed Shiite movement in Syria.

Meanwhile, an Iranian official close to the powerful Revolutionary Guards has warned against any foreign intervention against Syria. He threatened that if necessary Iran will send reinforcements to aid of the regime in Damascus. Recently, the U.S. said the Iranian Al Quds brigade was providing logistical and military support to the Syrian government forces.

In another development, Syrian MP Imad Ghalioun, a member of the Budget Committee in the Syrian Parliament, has announced his defection. He has taken refuge in Egypt, calling the opposition "to materialize the interests of the people who wants to achieve freedom." Before him, two independent members had announced their resignation in protest against the suppression of the uprising that began March 15.

On the ground, 21 people were killed on Monday across Syria. Most of the victims including a woman were reported in the city of Homs, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Six soldiers were also killed in clashes with rebels in the province of Idlib, said the Observatory.

The official news agency SANA reported death of General Mohammad Abdel-Hamid al-Awad, who was killed by "an armed terrorist group" on the outskirts of Damascus. 


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