The United Nations envoy for Syria has said government forces have dropped a large number of barrel bombs on Zabadani city, “causing unprecedented levels of destruction”. Staffan de Mistura cited local sources on Thursday, saying the air strikes caused many civilian deaths in the city, located about 45km northwest of the capital Damascus, and about 10km from the border with Lebanon. Aljazeera has more:
“[The] Army of Fatah [a Sunni rebel alliance], that controls Zabadani, retaliated by firing rockets and mortar bombs on two Shia villages, Al Foua and Kefraya, near Idlib city in the north,” de Mistura said. “In both cases, civilians are tragically caught in the middle of the fighting.”
Syrian state television said the army had destroyed a 70-metre-long tunnel used by the rebels to transport equipment into Zabadani.
Fierce clashes continued overnight in the Zabadani area, with heavy aerial bombardments in and around the city and reports of casualties on both sides, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said on Wednesday. It gave no detailed figures.