1. SYRIA

    Rebels Shell Government Strongholds

    SANA / AP Photo

    Explosions rattled Damascus as mortar attacks hit government strongholds on Wednesday. The Houran Freeman Brigade claimed responsibility for the attacks, which struck Mezze 86, a hilltop neighborhood near the presidential palace that serves as a residence for many members of Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect. The Mezze military airfield and the prime minister’s administrative complex were hit, though activists said mistakes caused them to miss the presidential palace and hit Mezze 86 instead. “We are planning to escalate our attacks in the areas of the government thugs,” one member of the Free Syrian Army vowed.

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