More than 200 people, mostly civilians, were killed on Wednesday in violence across Syria, including 38 in Damascus where armed rebels are pressing an all-out offensive, a monitoring group said.
At least 214 people -- 124 civilians, 62 soldiers and 28 rebels died in one of the bloodiest days of a 16-month revolt against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday.
The figure did not include three members of Assad’s inner circle who died in a Wednesday bomb attack on security headquarters in the heart of the capital.
Meanwhile, the General Revolution Commission, an opposition group, said around 100 Syrians have been killed by security forces gunfire during a funeral procession in al-Sayida Zainab in Damascus, the General Revolution Commission, an opposition group, reported.
Mortar shelling by Assad’s forces have killed said about 10 people in Talbisa, a town in Homs, it added.
Another opposition group, the Local Coordination Committees (LCC), said 60 soldiers have defected in Bab al-Hawa in Idlib to join the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Some of the defected soldiers came with seven tanks.
Activists said on Thursday that helicopters shelled al-Qaboun neighborhood in Damascus.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Sham Network reported of defections hailing from the Popular Front - General Command, to join FSA.
Heavy clashes were reported by the opposition groups and media.
LCC reported of Assad’s security forces shelling Nawa, Taseel, and Dawil towns in Deraa’s countryside, meanwhile, tanks shelled on al-Asaili and al-Kadam areas in Damascus.
The Media Center for the Syrian Revolution said the regime forces shelled Dail al-Harak in Deraa with artillery. It also reported that the FSA downed two helicopters shooting down at al-Tadhamun, Midan, and Hajar al-Aswad in Damascus.
Sources told Al Arabiya that the FSA has shelled 20 mortars on Damascus International Airport.