by Staff Writers
Beirut (AFP) Jan 20, 2013
Five members of one family were killed in air raids on a town in Damascus province on Sunday, as Syrian warplanes bombarded a battleground town southwest of the capital, a watchdog said.
A couple and their three children were among seven civilians killed in air strikes on the village of Baraka, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that the toll may rise as a number of people were buried under debris.
The Britain-based watchdog also reported artillery shelling and air raids on Daraya as army reinforcements arrived in the town, strategic for its location next to Al-Mazzeh military airport east of Damascus.
Pro-regime daily Al-Watan said on Sunday that "the terrorists on the outskirts of Daraya and Moadamiyet al-Sham have appealed for help after being hit very hard by the Syrian army, which destroyed several of the hideouts where they barricaded themselves."
Syrian authorities use the term "terrorists" to describe rebels against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad.
"The army continued its assault yesterday and completely destroyed these hideouts and plans to conduct a qualitative ground operation to root out the remaining terrorists," the newspaper said on Sunday.
In Damascus on Sunday, a man was shot dead in the southern district of Qadam as troops and rebels clashed, and another man was killed in shelling on the northeast suburb of Douma, the Observatory reported.
The army also bombarded several districts in the central city of Homs which have been under siege for months, as well as locations in the northern province of Aleppo, the northwest province of Idlib and Latakia on the coast.
In the southern province of Daraa, two rebels died in clashes near Busra al-Harir, while one civilian was killed and another critically wounded by regime gunfire in the town, the watchdog said.
The Observatory, which relies on a network of activists and medics, said that 138 people were killed nationwide on Saturday: 62 civilians -- including 13 children -- 35 soldiers, 39 rebels and two Kurdish fighters.
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