Syrian jets continue to bombard rebel-held town


Sat, Oct 20, 2012 - Page 6

Syrian jets bombarded a rebel town yesterday on the second day of an assault in which the regime is accused of using cluster bombs, hours before peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi flew in to Damascus to press for a truce.

Brahimi is aiming to secure a ceasefire during a four-day Muslim holiday from Oct. 26.

Violence has persisted on the ground with loyalists of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebels locked in an all-out battle for the northwestern town of Maaret al-Numan on the highway linking Syria’s two biggest cities.

Al-Assad’s forces, who hold air supremacy, again battered the town a day after strikes on a residential area killed dozens, nearly half of them children, rescuers said.

Rebels showed a correspondent debris from cluster bombs which they accused the air force of dropping on residential areas and the front lines, as well as dozens of other bomblets that failed to explode on impact.

Human Rights Watch has accused Syria of using cluster bombs, a charge denied by the military which insists it does not possess such devices.