Airstrikes tar­get rebels de­spite cease-fire

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD -

Syr­ian war­planes bom­barded a be­sieged rebel-held dis­trict of Homs, south­ern Daraa and in­sur­gent ar­eas on the out­skirts of Da­m­as­cus on Satur­day in what ap­peared to be in­ten­si­fy­ing as­saults in the west of the coun­try, mon­i­tors said.

Much of western Syria is cov­ered by an on­go­ing but shaky cease-fire be­tween the gov­ern­ment and rebels that took ef­fect Dec. 30. But fight­ing has rum­bled on, with war­ring sides ac­cus­ing each other of truce vi­o­la­tions ahead of peace talks in Geneva in the com­ing week.

On the north­east­ern out­skirts of Da­m­as­cus, the cap­i­tal, Syr­ian gov­ern­ment forces at­tacked the rebel-held Qaboun and Barzeh dis­tricts with rock­ets and shells, killing at least nine peo­ple, the Bri­tain-based Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights mon­i­tor­ing group said.

To the north, Syr­ian jets bom­barded the last rebel-held dis­trict of Homs, al-Waer, killing at least two peo­ple and rais­ing the death toll from nearly two weeks of airstrikes there to more than 20, an ac­tivist and the Ob­ser­va­tory said.

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