Syria violence continues as government assaults Rastan

Syrian government forces stormed the city of Rastan on Wednesday, according to Agence France Presse. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based organization that counts the Syria dead, said 12 were killed in violence across the country today.

A Syrian soldier signals as he stands close a damaged bus following an explosion which killed there people along the international airport road leading from the capital Damascus, on May 23, 2012, according to The Observatory, without specifying whether the dead were civilians or soldiers

Troops have been trying to retake Rastan for over a week, wrote the news wire. Water and food supplies have run low, but the shells – which at one point reportedly rained down at one per minute – slowed after UN observers visited the town.

“God protect us when they leave,” said Abu Rawan, an activist.

Troops fired on protesters in Aleppo, causing a melee, but few details were available, according to the news wire. In Damascus, a bomb exploded under a bus that was carrying soldiers. One was killed and nearly two dozen were injured, according to the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, Syria’s oil minister said Tuesday that sanctions on the country have in fact exacted a large toll, the AP wrote. Sufian Allaw, the country’s oil minister, told a press conference, “The oil sector has lost almost $4 billion because of the unjust European and US sanctions, blocking exports and imports of oil and oil derivatives.” The country has had trouble meeting domestic gas needs.

The number of United Nations observers continues to climb, but violence has yet to stop completely.

Source: Global Post

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