Syria’s military has given residents of several districts of the capital Damascus 48 hours to leave.
A security source told the AFP news agency that forces plan to “cleanse Damascus of terrorists by the time Ramadan begins.” Unverified video, uploaded on Thursday, purportedly showed the damage caused by the last four days of fighting in northern suburbs of the city. Activists claim that hundreds of residents have already packed up and left ahead of a major fightback by government forces. Elsewhere in the country, rebels claim they have taken control of the Abu Kamal border crossing with Iraq and captured another key checkpoint at Jarablus on the border with Turkey. Other amateur video, purportedly filmed in the border city of Azaz in Aleppo province, shows Syrian rebels dancing on regime tanks that they claim to have destroyed during clashes with Assad’s forces. Syrian state TV showed pictures of President Bashar al-Assad which were purportedly filmed following Wednesday’s bomb attack that killed three members of his inner circle. Assad is seen swearing in his new defence minister.