Last updated: July 14. 2013 6:36AM - 296 Views
Associated Press



FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 file photo, a Syrian boy shouts slogans against the regime in front of a flag of the armed Islamic opposition group, the Nusra front, during a demonstration in the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria.  Activists said on Saturday, July 13, 2013 that Syrian rebels and fighters from an al-Qaida-linked group have turned their guns on each other and are fighting for control of a key checkpoint in the northern city of Aleppo. The checkpoint is the only gateway between rebel-held eastern districts and the city's western areas, controlled by President Bashar Assad's troops. Arabic on banner in background contains words from the Quran and reads, "There is not God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger, the Nusra front" (AP Photo/ Manu Brabo, File)
FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 21, 2012 file photo, a Syrian boy shouts slogans against the regime in front of a flag of the armed Islamic opposition group, the Nusra front, during a demonstration in the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria. Activists said on Saturday, July 13, 2013 that Syrian rebels and fighters from an al-Qaida-linked group have turned their guns on each other and are fighting for control of a key checkpoint in the northern city of Aleppo. The checkpoint is the only gateway between rebel-held eastern districts and the city's western areas, controlled by President Bashar Assad's troops. Arabic on banner in background contains words from the Quran and reads, "There is not God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger, the Nusra front" (AP Photo/ Manu Brabo, File)
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(AP) Syria's main Western-backed opposition said Sunday that 200 civilians are trapped in a mosque in a suburb of the Syrian capital as fighting rages outside between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.


Meanwhile, Syrian activists said mortar shells landed in three separate Damascus districts, killing one person and wounding several others. The attacks coincided with Syrian army strikes on the Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees on the edge of the city, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.


The violence came as U.S. officials said Israel targeted advanced anti-ship cruise missiles near Syria's principal port city in an airstrike earlier this month, according to a report by The New York Times. It cited the officials as saying the attack on July 5 near Latakia targeted a type of Russian-made missile called the Yakhont that Russia had sold to the Syrian government.


There was no immediate comment from Assad's government, whose key political ally and arms supplier is Russia.


The Syrian Coalition called on the United Nations in a statement to send "a strong warning" to Assad that he "must immediately release" the civilians trapped in the mosque in the Damascus suburb of Qaboun.


It did not say if the 200 had sought refuge in the mosque or were already there praying when fighting began.


It warned that thousands of civilians in Qaboun could be "massacred" by Assad's army, as armored vehicles and elite forces move into the neighborhood.


The Observatory said fighting in Qaboun that began after midnight had caused casualties.


Associated Press
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