Syrian death toll climbs to nearly 400 as violence flares

Destruction in the southwest Syrian town of Daraya on Dec. 27, 2012. (AFP)

Destruction in the southwest Syrian town of Daraya on Dec. 27, 2012.

Nearly 400 people were reported dead in Syria Saturday, including some 150 charred corpses that were found in Deir Baalba in Homs, according to activist media.

In Aleppo at least 20 people were killed amid flaring clashes between the regime’s forces and members of the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

The Syrian Media Center reported that surface-to-surface missiles were launched on Mar’ea in the suburb of Aleppo.

Sana Revolution reported that a “massacre” took place in Khamsya town near Aleppo. The fighting in Aleppo forced Syria’s national airline to cancel a flight into the city.

Cairo airport officials said a flight that was supposed to stop in Aleppo before continuing to Damascus flew straight to Damascus “because of the deteriorated security situation” near the Aleppo airport.

It was the first time a flight to Syria’s largest city had been canceled because of fighting near the airport, they said. The Syrian government and its airline did not comment.

Rebels seeking to topple President Bashar Assad have launched a campaign to seize government airports as a way to cut the regime’s supply lines and strike a blow against its air power, the biggest threat faced by rebel forces.

While the rebels have yet to seize a major airport, they have disrupted traffic at some with heavy machine-gun fire, and flights to Damascus have been canceled due to fighting near its airport.

Syrian airlines is the only carrier still flying to Damascus, running one flight per day, though some officials still consider the trip too risky.

(english.alarabiya.net / 29.12.2012)

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