Friday, June 23, 2017
Rebel surge shatters hopes of end to Syrian war

Rebel surge shatters hopes of end to Syrian war

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Rebel groups were still attacking buildings between Jobar and Qaboun well into yesterday afternoonMOHAMMED EYAD/GETTY IMAGES

Damascus has experienced its fiercest fighting in years as rebels including a former al-Qaeda faction launched a surprise attack in the Syrian capital, dashing regime hopes that the six-year war was drifting to a close.

A blitz by the regime air force yesterday morning helped the army’s elite Republican Guard to reverse most of its initial losses in the assault but at a high price. Scores of soldiers were said to have been killed, including at least three senior officers.

The rebel factions managed to sustain fighting late into yesterday afternoon, when they were still attacking buildings in the industrial estate between the rebel-held suburbs of Jobar and Qaboun. The initial rebel advance, which brought the fighting to within a mile of Damascus’s Old City,…

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