Saturday, January 5, 2013

Syrian army rockets rebellious Damascus district

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian army fired rockets at a Damascus district on Saturday, trying to drive out insurgents fighting their way closer to the seat of President Bashar al-Assad's power.

As fighting that has killed 60,000 persists in the 21-month uprising turned civil war, Syria's deputy foreign minister visited Iran on Saturday, seeking to maintain the support of Assad's main regional ally.

Iran's Fars news agency said Faisal al-Makdad would meet President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and other Iranian officials.

Government forces fired rockets at Jobar, a Sunni enclave close to the centre of Damascus, a day after bombarding Daraya, a suburb in the east and part of a crescent of rebel-held areas on the outskirts, said Housam, an activist in the capital.

"The shelling began in the early hours of the morning, it has intensified since 11 a.m., and now it has become really heavy. Yesterday it was Daraya and today Jobar is the hottest spot in Damascus," he said by Skype.