Besieged Syrian towns shelled by rival forces

Besieged Syrian towns shelled by rival forces
Three Syrian towns - al-Fuah, Kafraya and Zabadani - enjoyed a brief ceasefire on Friday, but have once again become the target of bombs as shelling continued on Monday.
2 min read
31 August, 2015
Zabadani has been under opposition control since 2012 [AFP]
Syrian rebel groups in Idlib have edged closer to one of the last two government-held villages in the province.

The Shia-majority village of al-Fuaa has faced a protracted siege and shelling from a joint rebel force of Jaish al-Fatah and the Nusra Front, which are perched on its outskirts.

Early on Monday, the rebel force seized the village of Sawaghiya on the southeast edge of al-Fuaa, after overnight clashes, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The fighting left nine fighters from both sides and two civilians dead. Homemade rockets and shells continued to rain down on al-Fuah and Kafraya into the morning.

Around 14 barrel bombs were meanwhile dropped on rebel-held Zabadani from regime helicopters.

Regime-held al-Fuah and Kefraya, and rebel-held Zabadani, had enjoyed a brief 24-hour ceasefire on Friday, until the Syrian regime and Hizballah fighters broke the truce by launching an assault on the opposition town on Saturday.

Abu al-Duhar airbase in Idlib province has been under siege by rebel and Nusra fighters for two years. On Monday, Damascus launched an air raid on fighters outside its perimeter, after they got closer to capturing the camp over the weekend.

Syrian forces are also holed up in Kweres airport in Aleppo province, which has been under a protracted siege by Islamic State group militants, who on Monday were targeted by regime air raids.

Rebel forces in northern Latakia's Jebel Turkman and Jebel al-Akrad mountains have also come under fire on Monday, with clashes leading to casualties on both sides, the Syrian Observatory, a monitoring group linked to the opposition, reported.

Although Latakia province remains a stronghold for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, parts of the province's northern mountain areas have remained under rebel control.

Damascus has attempted to dislodge the rebels with sustained and heavy bombardments of opposition bases there.