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Syrian Regime Growing More Desperate as Fighting Intensifies Around Damascus

On Friday, the Syrian military shot down a Turkish F-4 jet that briefly strayed into Syrian airspace. The unarmed reconnaissance plane was testing radar devices in the eastern Mediterranean. The two pilots have not been found. NATO, of which Turkey is a member, condemned the action Tuesday, but did not mention any retaliation measures. The incident puts further strain on the rocky relationship between Turkey and Syria. The Free Syrian Army is headquartered in and operating out of Turkey, and the Turkish government is largely ignoring the weapons being smuggled across the border to aid rebel forces.

Meanwhile, dozens have died in the suburbs of Damascus in clashes between rebels and the Syrian military. Fighting around the Syrian capital has intensified, with government forces using artillery and tanks to combat rebels in Qudssaya, Al-Hama, Barzeh and Doumar. — CN

Al-Jazeera:

Dozens of people have been killed in fierce clashes between Syria troops and opposition fighters, mainly in the suburbs of Damascus, monitoring groups have reported.

Opposition forces and Syrian army units were locked in fierce clashes around elite Republican Guard posts in the capital, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), an activist monitoring group, said on Tuesday.

“Violent clashes are taking place around positions of the Republican Guard in Qudssaya and Al-Hama,” eight kilometres from central Damascus, Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the SOHR, told the AFP news agency.

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