Global Politics

Syria Troops in Fierce Fighting in Damascus Suburb


Unverified image from the Syrian opposition of shelling (Photo: Syrian opposition)

The Damascus suburb of Douma was subject to an intense attack today.

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Shells fell on residential areas for hours before troops moved in on the ground.

The Syrian government is supposed to observe a ceasefire from next week, but many international officials are sceptical.

"I think this is a real diplomatic quandary," says Borzou Daragahi of the Financial Times in Beirut, "a lot people would like to do something. Many governments would like to do something. They don't know what to do … and in the absence of knowing what to do, they come up with these diplomatic initiatives so that they don't seem totally cruel and heartless."

"But perhaps it would be more useful if people were more honest and say, look, the Syrian people are on their own, no-one is going to help them," Daragahi told The World.

"It's obvious what Assad's strategy is. He's just going to keep killing people and killing people, because he knows … that as soon as he implements a ceasefire there's going to be millions of people out on the streets, demanding (that) Bashar al-Assad be beheaded, and that the regime be changed, and that will be the end for him. So he's not going to let up."