By Peter Clifford © (http://www.petercliffordonline.com/syria-news-2/)
A massive battle is reported in the northern Homs countryside between Homs city and Rastan to the north, illustrated by this video, HERE:
Rastan itself has also come under consistent and repeated bombardment in recent days as, supported by Hezbollah and its other Shia allies, the Assad regime is trying to free the Homs countryside of Opposition fighters in order to protect its link between Damascus and Latakia.
Homs – Formerly the Third Largest City in Syria
Most of the fighting is concentrated around Talbiseh and the village of Al-Ghantoo, which today has suffered a number of airstrikes, including the dropping of cluster bombs, HERE:
The Syrian Air Force has also, belatedly, carried out a number of air strikes on villages in eastern Homs province around Mahin, where as reported previously (scroll down, see below), the Opposition gained massive amounts of ammunition after taking a large weapons compound there. These pictures from Mahin show the scale of the captured stores:
Opposition fighters have already put their newly acquired weapons to good use, successfully taking out this Syrian Army vehicle with a guided anti-tank missile, HERE:
In Hama province, north-east of Hama city, Opposition fighters took control of the A’alaf Checkpoint, destroying one tank in the process, HERE: and capturing a tank and a Shilka armoured vehicle, HERE:
ARMY BASE NEAR ALEPPO CHANGES HANDS 3 TIMES OVER THE WEEKEND AS ASSAD’S FORCES PUSH IN FROM THE SOUTH:
South-east of Aleppo, Opposition fighters are not doing so well as Base 80, recently held by them until Friday, has now changed hands 3 times over the weekend.
In a surprise early morning attack on Friday, regime forces re-took control of parts of the Base but were driven out again on Saturday by an Opposition counter attack.
Opposition Fighter Fires Anti-Aircraft gun at Oncoming Troops in Aleppo
In turn, the Syrian Army backed by Hezbollah, threw massive resources at the battle, apparently taking complete control of the Base yesterday.
The avowed intention of the Syria Army is to “re-open nearby Aleppo International Airport”, which has been closed since repeated Opposition attacks last year.
However, the story may not be over yet. Continued heavy fighting is reported in the area of Base 80 today, Monday, and Opposition fighters are still within striking distance, destroying a truck full of soldiers, 2 tanks, a BMP armoured vehicle and a self-propelled tank-howitzer, all part of an Army convoy entering the Base, with anti-tank missiles.
The Opposition skilfully destroy a tank and then the truck following it, HERE:
Assad’s forces, moving up from Safira, which they now control, have also taken Tel’Arn and are now at Tel Hasel and are almost in a position to reopen the road from the south all the way to Aleppo Airport.
Elswhere in Aleppo, Opposition fighters have been more successful, capturing a huge power plant due east of the the city not far from Quwaires airbase, HERE: and also the Transport Directorate, from where they were able to fire on the incoming Army convoys from the south using a 122mm self propelled tank howitzer and the anti-tank missiles described above, HERE:
In Deraa in the south of Syria, heavy clashes are reported in the eastern half of the city, HERE: , with Opposition fighters attacking the Government compound and the Political Security branch in the north-eastern Kashef neighborhood.
This video also shows the virtual complete destruction by the Opposition of the Army’s military housing complex near Tafas, also in Deraa province, HERE:
In central Damascus, Opposition mortar fire reportedly killed 5 children this morning, Monday, at the St. John of Damascus school in the majority Christian area of Qassaa and wounded a further 27. According to Government sources, a second mortar hit a school bus in the Bab Touma district, injuring another five children.