Thursday, July 19, 2012

Syria conflict: Fresh offensive against rebels

Syrian troops have been mobilised in a drive to oust armed rebels from parts of Damascus, a day after a bomb attack that killed three top regime figures.

Tanks, artillery and helicopters have been deployed and clashes reported south-west and north-east of the city.

President Bashar al-Assad has not made any public appearances since the attack - but state TV said he had sworn in the new defence minister.

The UN is to discuss a Western-backed resolution urging tougher sanctions.

Russia has already said it will veto the plan which threatens Syria with non-military sanctions under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter if it fails to move troops and heavy weapons from populated areas.

But with sporadic battles breaking out for control of Damascus, international envoy Kofi Annan has pushed the international community to take urgent and decisive action. Read More