Friday, Dec 26, 2014Friday, Dec 26, 2014

News

 

Syria ushers in New Year with more violence

Published on Jan 2, 2013 6:08 AM
 
Residents walk past a damaged emergency vehicle in Aleppo Jan 1, 2013. -- PHOTO : REUTERS

DAMASCUS (AFP) - Syrians woke up to air strikes near Damascus on New Year's Day and the closure of Aleppo airport after repeated rebel attacks, casting doubts on efforts to end the 21-month conflict.

The brutality of the war was highlighted in a graphic new video posted on the Internet by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, allegedly showing soldiers stabbing two prisoners to death.

And in a fresh blow to President Bashar al-Assad, a Turkish diplomat said some 20 Syrian soldiers, including a general, defected on Tuesday and fled to Turkey, rear-base of the insurgents battling the regime.

"The soldiers who fled to Turkey include a general, three colonels and several other officers," the diplomat told AFP in Ankara. Dozens of senior officers, as well as diplomats and political figures, have defected since the conflict began.

 
If you are not a subscriber, you can get instant, unlimited access here