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.
The largest hospital in rebel-held Aleppo has been hit by barrel bombs, according to a NGO working in the city.
The Free Syrian Army has edged closer to Hama and has captured 13 villages previously that of the regime
Demonstrators from across Jordan’s political spectrum decry energy agreement inked with Jewish state
Infant is pulled from rubble of building flattened by regime, Russian warplanes
Five regime soldiers also die during ongoing clashes in northwestern Syria
Dozens of world leaders bid farewell to Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, whose detractors have described as ‘war criminal’
Syria's anti-regime opposition now stands only 15 kilometers from Hama city
If passed, law would allow victims of extremist attacks to sue foreign governments deemed responsible
The Tuwal district of Jazan, on the Saudi frontier with Yemen, came under fire on Thursday afternoon, wounding the border guard corporal, a ministry statement said.
"It is well into its terrible descent into the pitiless and merciless abyss of a humanitarian catastrophe unlike any we have witnessed in Syria," said the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs.
A Cairo court has approved the redrawing of the maritime boundary between Egypt and Saudi Arabia on Thursday, according to a report in Egypt’s state TV news portal Egynews.
Phone call dominated by violence in Aleppo plus Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield in northern Syria
Turkish foreign minister insists any joint efforts must contain political solution, ceasefire
U.S. supports extremism by refusing to collaborate with Russia on fight against ISIL, Deputy Russian FM says
Funeral of former Israeli PM Shimon Peres – who passed away Wednesday – to be held same day
Russia said Wednesday it was ready to relaunch talks in Geneva with the United States following the collapse of a ceasefire.