The recent diplomatic efforts to quell the year-old uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are mailing. Meanwhile the military forces have intensified their offensive as the country marked the first anniversary of the revolt.
Government troops increased their efforts to dislodge opposition fighters from key cities in the south and north. In Idlib, the regime forces have driven out rebels and many civilians. While in Daraa, the site of the country’s first major anti-government demonstration in March 2011, is being assailed by soldiers supported by armoured vehicles.
Meanwhile Assad supporters marked the occasion with gatherings across the country, including the capital Damascus, saying that the uprising was a “conspiracy” against the state. However, opposition activists informed that around 130 tanks and armoured vehicles converged on Deraa, and are firing machineguns to buildings and carrying out house-to-house raids.
The most prominent opposition group, the Syrian National Council, informed their purpose to arm civilians and defected soldiers to fight the regime’s army. (AV)