World Bulletin/News Desk
Syria's navy fired live missiles from ships and helicopters over the weekend, state media said on Sunday, in an exercise aiming at showcasing its ability to "defend Syria's shores against any possible aggression".
Syrian television aired video of a variety of missiles being fired from launchers on land and from ships and showed the Syrian Defence Minister Dawud Abdallah Rahijia in attendance.
"Naval Forces conducted an operational live fire exercise on Saturday, using missiles launched from the sea and coast, helicopters and missile boats, simulating a scenario of repelling a sudden attack from the sea," Syrian news agency SANA said, adding manoeuvres would continue for several days.
Opposition figures have been calling for a no-fly zone and NATO strikes against Syrian forces, similar to those carried out in Libya last year which enabled rebel ground forces to end the rule of Muammar Gaddafi.
But while President Bashar al-Assad has faced sanctions and international condemnation over his crackdown on dissent which has left thousands dead, major Western and Arab powers have shied away from the idea of direct military action.
Turkey has reinforced its border and scrambled fighter aircraft several times since Syria shot down a Turkish reconnaissance jet on June 22 over what Damascus said were Syrian territorial waters in the Mediterranean. Ankara said the incident occurred in international air space.
More than 30 people were killed on Sunday during a government bombardment and clashes between Syrian forces and Free Syrian Army rebels fighting to oust Assad, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Activists reported heavy shelling in residential areas of Deir al-Zor city and in Deraa province, the birthplace of the revolt near the Jordanian border.
Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Observatory, said that residents of al-Sharifa in the wider Deir al-Zor province said rebels had taken control of a tank looted in combat for the first time and were using it to attack army positions.
In recent weeks, rebels have become more and more brazen in their attacks, holding small areas of territory across the country and clashing with troops only a few miles from the presidential palace in Damascus.
Assad's departure 'is a matter of time... sooner or later, this regime will fall, opening the way for building a new Syria without Bashar al-Assad,' Adel al-Jubeir says
'We will take necessary actions in due time,' an Iranian general says
'Two employees, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed and 15 others wounded in the overnight air raid,' a factory owner says
Munich deal may collapse soon if Assad regime and its allies, Russia and Iran, do not comply with it, Washington-based experts predict
'The Saudi kingdom now has a presence at Incirlik airbase in Turkey,' Saudi defense official reports
Following a defence ministers meeting in Brussels, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter has said that NATO is considering joining the US-led coalition against ISIL
Army targets Nusra Front positions near Lebanese town of Arsal near border with Syria, local security source tells Anadolu Agency
An armored security vehicle struck a bomb near northern Sinai Peninsula's Sheikh Zuweid city
Relations between Israel, European Union back on track, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman says
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, has said that Saudi Arabia will be sending aircraft to Incirlik to fight ISIL.
High Negotiations Committee calls for regime, Russia to demonstrate commitment on ground
Turkish foreign minister says Russian bombs killed 16 civilians morning after Munich agreement
‘We need to see an end to the support for Assad that, frankly, is only exacerbating the situation,’ says State Dept.
The main battle is about cutting the road between Aleppo and Turkey,' Syrian president says
UAE special operations forces would help train and advise as well as arm anti-ISIL forces in Syria and local partners in Iraq
'The project of a temporary truce to halt hostilities will be examined with the rebel factions on the ground,' a leading member of the High Negotiations Committee says