Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Syrian troops storm Hama
Hama on Wednesday 14 December.
Syrian troops swept into the city of Hama on Wednesday to break a three-day strike by opponents of President Bashar al-Assad. According to activists they killed at least 10 people but faced resistance from armed insurgents who destroyed two armored vehicles.
Outside the city, army deserters attacked a convoy of military jeeps, killing eight soldiers, they said, adding to a death toll of at least 30 people across the country on Wednesday.
The assault in Hama was the first armored incursion there since a tank offensive in August crushed huge protests in the city. Activists said troops fired machineguns and ransacked and burnt shops which had closed to mark a mass, open-ended "Strike for Dignity" called by the opposition.
Update Thursday: In the southern province of Dera´a army deserters killed at least 27 soldiers and security force personnel in a series of clashes on Thursday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The British-based group said the deserters fought forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in two locations in the city of Dera´a itself, as well as a checkpoint at a crossroads about 25 km (15 miles) to the east of the city. Rami Abdulrahman of the Observatory said in the fighting near Musayfrah, east of Dera´a, all 15 personnel at a joint army and security checkpoint were killed.
Al Jazeera English reported on Wednesday:: In other parts of Syria, the Local Co-ordination Committees (LCC) activist network reported that at least 10 people were killed in the central city of Homs, three in the northeastern province of Idlib, two in the capital Damascus, two in Deir al-Zor, two in Deraa, one in the northeastern province of Qamishli, one in the northern city of al-Raqqa and one in the town of Zabadany near Damascus.