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Syria - Jan 29, 2012 - 18:17

Last modified: 29 Jan 2012 15:17

The fighting on Sunday appears to be triggered by a wave of dections, if reports coming from the AFP news agency are correct:

Other Damascus suburbs that have come under fire from heavy artillery and mortar rounds from government forces include Douma, Saaba, Irbin and Hamuriyeh, activists said.

"The more the regime uses the army, the more soldiers defect," Ahmed al-Khatib, a local rebel council member on the Damascus outskirts, told the AFP news agency.

A spokesperson for the rebel Free Syrian Army, which boasts 40,000 men and whose leadership is in Turkey, said that the fighting came a day after "a large wave of defections," with 50 officers and soldiers turning their back on Assad.