Middle East

Syrian army defectors attack base near Damascus

BEIRUT: Syrian army defectors say they have launched several attacks on President Bashar Assad's military targets near the capital Damascus, including one on a Syrian intelligence facility.

The Free Syrian Army says in a statement that its main attack early Wednesday targeted a compound run by the Air Force Intelligence in the Damascus suburb of Harasta.

The renegade group says the other attacks targeted military checkpoints in the Damascus suburbs of Douma, Qaboun and Arabeen and Saqba.

The attacks come two days after defectors killed 34 soldiers and members of the security in the southern province of Daraa, on what was one of the bloodiest days of the 8-month-old uprising.

The U.N. says that more than 3,500 people have been killed since Assad launched a crackdown in mid-March.





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