Syria's Assad presses offensive, missile strikes raise escalation risk

Syria's Assad presses offensive, missile strikes raise escalation riskThe Syrian army unleashed a massive bombardment against one rebel enclave on Monday and prepared for the withdrawal of insurgents from another as President Bashar al-Assad pushes to crush the rebels' last besieged strongholds. There were more than 140 Syrian army air strikes on the town of Rastan and surrounding villages in the rebel enclave between the cities of Hama and Homs early on Monday, alongside sustained shelling, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said. Last week a Syrian government minister said the enclave would be the army's next target after it retook all rebel areas around the capital, a goal it looked closer to achieving with Monday's expected insurgent pullout from south Damascus.




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