Assad jets strike capital to drive out rebels
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Syrian warplanes and artillery struck rebellious suburbs east of Damascus, while rebels attacked regime positions elsewhere near the capital Sunday, violence that marred the third day of what was meant to be a four-day holiday truce, activists said.
A UN-backed truce declared for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha has failed to take hold, with fighting reported from the start.
In the fighting Sunday, Syrian warplanes struck the eastern Damascus suburbs of Arbeen, Harasta and Zamalka to try to drive out rebels, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which compiles information from activists in Syria. The Observatory also reported shelling attacks in these areas.
Local activists and another opposition group, the Local Coordination Committees, said warplanes struck Arbeen and Harasta. The LCC said eight people were killed Sunday in Damascus and its suburbs.
In Douma, another Damascus suburb, rebels wrested three positions from regime forces according to the Observatory.
Iraq searches Syria-bound plane
BAGHDAD: Iraqi authorities forced an Iranian cargo plane heading to Syria to land for inspection in Baghdad to ensure it was not carrying weapons, an Iraqi official said Sunday. The plane, however, was released after the check. Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority chief Nassir Bandar, said the plane was let off only after the check on Saturday because officials were concerned it might have been carrying arms.
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