MIDDLE EAST

Syrian regime troops appeal for immediate aid in Al-Raqqa

A military base in Daraa, in northern Syria, has been a site of fierce clashes between rebels and the Syrian regime. (Al Arabiya)

A medical regime battalion in Al-Raqqah, in Syria’s north, appealed for aid claiming 80 members of armored Division 17 had been killed and another 250 injured.

The battalion has reportedly called on the Syrian regime command to intervene, in the next 24 hours, describing the situation in Raqqa as both “critical” and deteriorating.

“We have no water, no food and no electricity. The injured are dying of gangrene due to lack of medical aid,” the battalion said.
The base occupies an area of about five kilometers and is currently being besieged on four fronts by the Free Syrian Army. Food is supposedly being delivered by helicopters and parachutes.

Rebels control around three quarters of the base, but regime forces are for the most part occupying the command center. Division 17 is reportedly the strongest of the regime troops in Raqqah.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the FSA seized control of a military base which belonged to Battalion 49 in Daraa’s countryside after regime troops withdrew, following a siege and fierce clashes with opposition fighters.

The significance of the base is the fact it lies in the center of Daraa, which is in the south of the country, and is located between the towns of Alma and Kherbet Ghazleh. The base also allegedly has large arms warehouses.

The regime has used the base to shell Daraa, particularly the towns of Alma and Kherbet Ghazleh. The shelling has not only caused a lot of destruction but has displaced most residents to the point that almost 30,000 people who lived in both the towns have fled.

Battalion 49 is also known has been referred to as the ‘battalion of death’ because of the alleged brutal acts of murder and torture its members reportedly committed.

The FSA blocked the international road that linked Damascus to Amman about a month ago, which prevented supplies from reaching the battalion. This gave the FSA the upper hand and eventual control over the military base.

 

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Last Update: Thursday, 4 April 2013 KSA 14:54 - GMT 11:54
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