ESCALATION

Syria Storms Damascus Suburbs

Things are heating up fast in Syria’s suburbs. Activists report that 2,000 government troops—some in tanks—stormed the towns of Saqba, Hammouriya, and Kfar Batna. At least 14 were reportedly killed. Ein Tarma, only a few miles from Damascus, is the closest troops have come to the capital, signaling the government is ratcheting up its mission to end the opposition effort. Recently, there has been a surge in dissident soldiers outside the capital, and they have become increasingly visible. The Arab League has suspended its mission in the nation indefinitely, saying that President Assad has intensified his crackdown.