Assad says Syria ‘in a state of war’

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Assad says Syria ‘in a state of war’

Syria is in a state of war, President Bashar al-Assad has said, ordering his cabinet to crush the anti-regime revolt even as fierce fighting broke out near the capital Damascus.

By (AFP)

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Published: Wed 27 Jun 2012, 11:56 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 2:42 PM

With the uprising now in its 16th month, Assad told his cabinet Tuesday that Syria was in a “real situation of war”.

“When one is in a state of war, all our policies and capabilities must be used to secure victory,” he said according to the official SANA news agency.

Turkey meanwhile said it had issued fresh rules of engagement to its army in response to the shooting down by Syria of one of its fighter jet last Friday.

Across the country, violence continued with at least 116 people killed on Tuesday according to the Observatory for Human Rights which said 68 civilians, 41 soldiers and seven rebels had lost their lives.

The fighting drew closer to the capital with clashes breaking out Tuesday in the suburbs of Damascus between rebel forces and Syrian army units, around elite Republican Guard posts, the London-based Observatory said.

Abu Omar, a spokesman for activists in the Damascus region,said that all communication had been cut off in and around Al-Hama and Qudsaya.

Regime forces had “stormed the areas with tanks”, he said via Skype. He also spoke of a “massacre” but gave no further details.

The official SANA news agency reported that government forces had clashed with “armed terrorist groups” in Al-Hama, killing dozens and arresting others.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan moved to denounce Syria’s downing of its Phantom F-4 fighter jet in far more aggressive terms than his initial, cautious statements over the weekend.

“This is a hostile act... a heinous attack,” he said, adding that the military’s standing orders had been adjusted accordingly.

Amnesty International meanwhile denounced the Syrian regime for the torture and killing of three medics.

“The discovery of the charred and mutilated bodies of three young medical workers a week after their arrest in Aleppo city is yet further evidence of the Syrian government forces’ appalling disregard for the sanctity of the role of medical workers,” it said.

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