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article imageSyrian military forcing rebel forces from Damascus neighbourhoods

By Paul Iddon     Jul 15, 2013 in World
Syrian troops using tanks and artillery are clearing out neighborhoods and city districts in and around Damascus of rebel fighters. This is in a bid by the regime to secure the capital and further consolidate their recent gains on the battlefield.
Gulf News and Voice of America both carry a report which outlines how the regime is undergoing the current offensive operations to secure the wider capital form their dug in positions in the city's center.
Backed by Hezbollah troops from Lebanon the regime has captured important strategical territories in the country's heartland and is set on eliminating the threat to his reign by rebel forces in and around the capital.
In the neighborhood of Qaboun in Damascus Republican Guard forces loyal to the regime have used used civilians as human shields after heavily shelling the neighborhood.
Mohammad Abu Al Hoda of the Free Syrian Army opposition militia stated the military has "made inroads into Qaboun. We are still on the high buildings but they took lots of civilians to prevent us from hitting them."
The hostages in question were, according to that individual, held up in a mosque and two schools.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the residents being held in the mosque managed to flee but them and others are struggling to cope with the endemic shortages of basic necessities, like food and medical supplies, coupled with the presence of snipers.
At least 60 people have been reportedly killed in the shelling and clashes in the area in the past few days.
The neighborhood, along with nearby Barzeh, has been under siege for some seven months now. More than 40,000 civilians in these areas face the threat of death and dismemberment by indiscriminate artillery strikes.
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