Syrian forces kill 11 in Damascus

Associated Press
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FILE - In this Friday, Aug. 17, 2012 file photo, Syrians look for survivors in under the rubble of a building hit by an airstrike in Aleppo, Syria. Its forces stretched thin on multiple fronts, President Bashar Assad's regime has significantly increased its use of air power against Syrian rebels in recent weeks, causing mounting civilian casualties. The shift is providing useful clues about the capability of the air force as Western powers consider the option of enforcing a no-fly zone over the northern part of the country.(AP Photo/Khalil Hamra, File)

BEIRUT (AP) — Activists say Syrian troops backed by tanks have stormed an upscale Damascus neighborhood, killing at least 11 suspected rebels.

They said the attack came after regime forces shelled the area with mortars soon after dawn.

An activist, who only wanted to be identified by the name Bassam, said that as many as 22 tanks stormed the Kafar Soussa neighborhood with about 20 soldiers on foot behind each one. He spoke via Skype from central Damascus.

The British-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 12 were killed by regime forces shelling and shooting in Kafar Soussa.

It was not immediately clear why government forces stormed Kafar Soussa, but there has been a dramatic spike in fighting in Damascus over the past month.