U.S. says Syria army fired Scud missiles against rebels

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Syria’s military fired at least five Scud missiles into rebel positions in Aleppo, according to State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland and American intelligence officials. Damascus denied the accusation claiming it is a propaganda for foreign intervention in the civil war.

Nuland said Wednesday missiles were used as a desperate tactic by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. An American official familiar with the classified intel reports on the attack said the Scuds were fire Monday from the An Nasiriyah Air Base, north of Damascus targeting the Sheikh Suleiman base north of Aleppo. The base had been captured by rebel forces.

Defector and former Syrian officer First Lieutenant Aaraba Idriss, who served in a battalion specializing in surface-to-surface missiles, said on Thursday the Soviet-made missiles were fired, according to AFP. Idriss, who is now leading a rebel force, claimed his former officers told him the missiles were fired on the highway between Damascus and the central Syrian city of Homs.

Syria’s foreign ministry denied the allegations on state TV claiming the reports as “conspiratorial rumors.” The ministry said the long-range missiles is not suitable for use against armed terrorist gangs, referring to rebels.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Watch claimed that the Syrian army is also firing incendiary bombs in populated areas and called for a stop to its use. The Soviet-made bombs can inflict severe damage and injury within an area the size of a football field, HRW said.

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