Author Topic: Syria army 'storms' rebel town Qusair  (Read 522 times)

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Offline EC

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Syria army 'storms' rebel town Qusair
« on: May 19, 2013, 06:03:22 AM »
from the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22586378

Quote
Syrian government forces have surrounded the rebel stronghold of Qusair and are storming it from several directions, says Syrian state TV.

Fighting has gone on around the town, near the Lebanese border, for weeks.

Syrian opposition activists said government air strikes and heavy shelling had killed at least 16 people in the town so far.

Opposition groups say militants from the Lebanese Hezbollah movement are fighting alongside government forces.

The fighting came as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed to continue the "fight against terrorism".

In his first interview since the US and Russia announced plans for a peace conference, Mr Assad told an Argentine newspaper that the meeting should focus on stopping the flow of money and weapons to "terrorists".

He rejected suggestions he might stand down, saying a captain did not abandon his ship and presidential elections next year would determine his future.

More at link.

Remember, it is official government sources, so some skepticism s advised.
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Offline EC

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Re: Syria army 'storms' rebel town Qusair
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 01:20:45 AM »
Syria conflict: Fierce battle for key town of Qusair

Fighting has raged in Syria's town of Qusair after government troops launched a major operation to seize the strategic rebel stronghold.

State media said the army "restored security and stability" to most of the town - a claim denied by activists.

Lebanese militants are said to be involved - Hezbollah siding with the army, Sunni gunmen with the rebels.

More than 50 people have reportedly been killed. The fighting has also spilled into Lebanon.
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Analysis
image of Jim Muir Jim Muir BBC News, Beirut

What appears to be a concerted government attempt to recapture Qusair from the rebels had been in the making for some time.

In a sense, Qusair had already fallen militarily, since the rebels appear to have lost control of most of the surrounding villages and countryside adjacent to the Lebanese border.

It adds to a string of setbacks rebels have suffered in recent weeks, especially along the Lebanese and Jordanian borders and around Damascus itself.

Rebel commanders blame their recent losses on the drying-up of arms supplies from outside. Qatar and others are reported to have recently cut deliveries, perhaps in response to US reservations about enabling a victory by a rebel movement in which the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front is playing a lead role.

Certainly the government forces, bolstered by apparently open-ended support from Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, have in recent weeks had a new spring in their step.

Several mortar rounds fired from Syria struck Lebanon's north-eastern town of Hermel, Lebanon's National News Agency said, but no casualties or major damage were reported.

From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-22592627
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