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Syrian army bombarded suburbs of Damascus day after opposition accused regime of gassing hundreds in chemical attack.

Last modified: 22 Aug 2013 08:15

Syrian military bombarded rebel-held suburbs of Damascus, activists said, keeping up pressure on the besieged region a day after the opposition accused the army of gassing hundreds in a chemical weapons attack.

Rockets fired from multiple launchers on early Thursday and heavy mortar rounds hit the neighbourhoods of Jobar and Zamalka, which are on the eastern outskirts of the capital.

Dozens of people have been killed on Wednesday from chemical weapons attacks in those areas, which are part of what is known as the Ghouta, according to activists. 

Rockets also hit the nearby district of Qaboun to the north, where rebel fighters have repelled attempts by loyalist forces to overrun the area, and the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp
area to the south, the activists added.

Speaking from Ghouta, activist Khaled Amer said explosions from rockets hitting Zamalka were being heard. In Jobar, a Damascus neighbourhood only 3km from the historic centre of the ancient capital, explosions were heard at an army fortification and another compound housing tanks, apparently from a rebel attack on the facilities.

Fadi al-Shami of the Tarhrir al-Sham Brigade, which operates in the eastern Ghouta region, said scattered fighting was taking place along the Jobar-Zamalka axis and that opposition forces have moved closer to loyalist lines, partly to be in safer positions in case of another chemical attack.