Syria: Rebels Advance on Key Airport in Hama
Syrian rebels pressed their advance today in the central province of Hama, as they tried to take out its military airport, a rebel commander and a monitor said.
"The rebels are now nine kilometres away from Hama military airport, which they want to put out of action," said Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
A rebel leader in the area, Yusef al-Hassan, said the airport was important because "that is where the regime makes its barrel bombs, and warplanes take off from there to carry out air strikes".
Barrel bombs have killed hundreds of civilians, especially in rebel areas of the divided northern city of Aleppo, in recent months.
According to the Observatory, rebels seized a major checkpoint north of Hama city, which is firmly under regime control, on Monday night.
The takeover of the checkpoint in Tarabih comes on the back of Sunday's capture of a weapons depot in the area.
"The regime has suffered several defeats in Hama province in recent days," said Abdel Rahman.
As they have advanced, rebels have cut off the road linking Hama city, the provincial capital, to a string of regime-controlled Christian and Alawite villages in the west of the province, he added.
Hassan said the regime was sending reinforcements.
"They are stepping up their troop presence here, which will limit the regime's capabilities in other areas," the rebel leader told AFP via the internet.
As for the military airport: "We are already striking it with Grad missiles," Hassan said.
The air force has used barrel bombs to hit opposition-controlled areas for months.
In Aleppo alone, air strikes since December have killed hundreds of civilians and forced thousands of families to flee.
Rights groups have hit out at the regime for using crude bombs, which they describe as failing to discriminate between civilian and military targets.
A barrel bomb strike on a rebel-held village in Daraa province on Monday killed an elderly man, his daughter and her three grandchildren, said the Observatory.
In Aleppo itself, rebels today detonated two explosives-filled tunnels under a regime-held building, leaving "13 dead among the guards and regime forces" and wounding an unspecified number of others, the Observatory said.
The building in Aleppo's mostly regime-controlled old city was a police station occupied by regime forces.
FROM OUTLOOKDefenceWith service chiefs increasingly at the mercy of bureaucrats and dwindling budgets, the country's defence preparedness needs to...more from outlook>>>
FROM THE WEBReportageThe first ever strike at the army camp in Baramullmore from WEB>>>
FROM WIREST V Parasuram Washington, July 23 (PTI) Diffemore from WIRES>>>
- Govt Plans to Further Liberalize Visa Regime to Boost Tourism: Swaraj
- Teesta Setalvad Liable for Mixing Religion With Politics: HRD Panel
- SP Appears on Brink of Split as CM Sacks Shivpal, Mulayam Expels Ramgopal
- Now, Adult Film Star Accuses Trump of Sexual Harassment
- BSF Jawan Gurnam Singh Injured in Pak Attack Succumbs to Injuries
- ADHM Row: Army Upset Over Being Dragged Into Film Politics, Rejects Forced Donation
- Should You Be Worried About H5N8 Bird Flu? A Quick Guide To The Alphabet Soup
- Watch: The Trailer of Hugh Jackman's Last Wolverine Film, Logan
- Daily Curator: It's All About The Family
- Daily Curator: All That Chest Thumping Can Accomplish
- This 'Chaiwala' From Pakistan First Broke The Internet; Now He Has A Modelling Contract
- Daily Curator: How To Burn A Hole In Your Food Pipe And Other Stories
- Kabaddi Player Rohit Kumar Sent to Judicial Custody in Wife's Suicide Case
- Not Just a Business Partner, But an Ally Who Stood By India in its Darkest Hours: Russia
- Two Explosions Hit Japanese City in Suspected Suicide Bombing, One Killed
- My Removal From Govt an Attempt to Weaken SP Leadership: Shivpal
- Reports Say Queen Elizabeth Faces Massive Post-Brexit Losses
- Rajnath Singh Leaves for Three-Day Visit to Bahrain, to Raise Pak Issue
- MOST VIEWED
- MOST COMMENTED
- BJP Wants To Make India a Hindu Rashtra, Owaisi Attacks PM for His 'Jai Shri Ram' Greeting
- Injected With Petrol Into Their Private Parts, UP Teenagers Still Await Surgery
- Scenes With Ranbir in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Not Frivolous Sensuality: Aishwarya
- Muslim Woman Refuses to Accept Triple Talaq Notice by Husband
- Notice to Katju on Petition Against His Blog Post on Beef
- Following Rajnath Singh's Orders, Delhi Police Forms SIT to Trace Missing JNU Student
- Discriminatory Practises Cannot Be Held Integral to Freedom of Religion: Law Minister on Triple Talaq
- Congress' Rita Bahuguna Joins BJP, Hits Out at Rahul for 'Khoon Ki Dalali'