06/27/2012, 00.00
SYRIA

Damascus, attack on a pro-government television station, three dead

The assault happened in Drousha 20 km south of the capital. So far there are no claims of responsibility. Bashar al-Assad announces that Syria is at war. Government cabinet reshuffled. The priority is to fight and defeat the terrorists.

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A group of armed men this morning stormed the headquarters of Ikhbariya TV, a private television station close to President Bashar Al-Assad, in Druousha located about 20 km south of Damascus. Three people were killed in the attack. An employee of the television station said that the men broke into the complex, taking guards hostage and later blew up two buildings. According to state news agency SANA, the attack was carried out by unidentified terrorists, but so far no group has claimed responsibility. For days clashes between rebels and troops of the elite of the Syrian regime have been taking place on the outskirts of Damascus, leaving 40 dead over the weekend, 116 across the country.

The recent tension between Ankara and Damascus after the shooting down of a Turkish jet last June 22 along the coast of Syria, threatens to worsen the conflict between Sunni insurgents and the regime. Yesterday, Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced new rules of engagement for armed forces along a 600 km border with Syria. He warned the former Syrian ally that "from now on, Turkey will respond with the weapons to" any violation of the border. "However, the Turkish Premier in agreement with the other members of NATO has ruled out the hypothesis of an armed intervention in Syria.

In response to Erdogan's statements, Bashar al-Assad said "Syria is in a state of war". Yesterday, he reformed the government cabinet, ordering that all efforts must be used to combat and defeat the rebels.

 

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