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Syrian Security Forces Kill At Least 35 In Damascus Suburb Raid

August 02, 2012

Syrian activists say that a raid by government security forces on a Damascus suburb has killed at least 35 people and that some of the victims were tortured and killed execution-style.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said regime forces entered the southwestern Jdeidet Artouz district and "arrested around 100 young people who were taken to a school and tortured."

Residents said after tanks and troops left the area early August 2, dead bodies were left in the streets and in homes.

State television said that "dozens of terrorists and mercenaries surrendered or were killed" in Jdeidet Artouz.

The reports of executions in the Jdeidet Artouz district come one day after video emerged of summary executions in Aleppo of people said to be pro-government militia members.

The video showed rebels dragging four badly beaten men toward a wall, followed by the sound of gunfire.

International rights have criticized both sides in the Syrian conflict for atrocities.

Battle For Aleppo Continues

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said that rebels on August 2 bombarded a government air base near the flashpoint city of Aleppo, using a captured tank.

Menagh air base was reportedly being used by helicopter gunships to attack the northern city of Aleppo.

Heavy fighting continued in Aleppo and UN observers confirmed that rebels in Syria's largest city now possess tanks and other armored vehicles captured from government forces.

UN observers also confirmed seeing government warplanes carrying out air strikes against rebels in Aleppo.

Hundreds of thousands of Aleppo residents have fled the city, joining the thousands of Syrian refugees already in camps in neighboring Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon.

As the situation in Syria continues to grow worse, the World Food Program and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization said on August 2 that some 3 million Syrians are likely to need food, crop, and livestock aid, since fighting has kept farmers from harvesting crops.

The two organizations also cited a joint assessment from the UN and Syrian government that reported Syria's agricultural sector has lost some $1.8 billion this year already.

With reporting by Reuters and AP

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/syrian- massacre-in-damascus/24664252.html

Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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