Defectors from Syrian security force attack military facilities
How long can Assad keep this up? Members of his military are starting to turn on him.
BEIRUT: Soldiers who have defected from the Syrian security forces attacked military facilities in several locations around Damascus overnight in what appears to be the boldest attacks yet by the fledgling Free Syrian Army.
The strikes came as diplomatic pressure ratcheted up on Syria, which is facing growing regional and international censure for its failure to end an eight-month-old crackdown against protesters demanding the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad.
…Reports from Damascus cited by Arabic news channels said that Assad supporters had attacked the embassies of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to protest the Arab League decision. Pro-Assad crowds also lashed out recently at the Turkish embassy in Damascus and the Turkish consulates in Lattakia and Aleppo.
The attacks on military facilities by anti-Assad forces overnight Tuesday were claimed in a Facebook posting by the Free Syrian Army, which claims to be comprised of deserters from the regular army.
‘The Free Syrian Army carried out special operations in all Damascus areas to foil a plan being prepared by the regime against our people and to send a message to the regime that the Free Syrian Army can hit anywhere and anytime,’ the Facebook posting said.
In the biggest operation, the rebels said they attacked an Air Force Intelligence headquarters compound in the Damascus suburb of Harasta. They also engaged loyalist soldiers and militias at three other locations on the outskirts of Damascus, the statement said.
The Facebook posting said the defectors had inflicted ‘many casualties’ on government forces, but offered no details and could not be independently confirmed. The Associated Press quoted an unnamed opposition figure as saying the attack included a three-pronged assault on the air force intelligence compound, involving automatic rifles and rocket propelled grenades.