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Syrian daily roundup Sep 29: Hundreds of shops ablaze in Aleppo’s ancient souks

Activists said that a blaze swept through the souk of al-Madina in the city of Aleppo, destroying hundreds of shops in one of the most ancient souks in Syria. Activists blamed regime snipers as they targeted the souk’s electric generators, sparking fire in one of the shops while preventing rebel fighters and residents from approaching it causing the fire to spread on.
Fierce fighting continued throughout the city of Aleppo and spreading to the vicinity of the Aleppo International Airport. Meanwhile, the rebel FSA said its fighting units shelled the Nerab military airport in the suburbs, destroying its major runway and a number of helicopter gunships and kerosene tanks.
In the meantime, the regime’s heavy artillery and fighter jets resumed shelling the neighbourhoods of Ansari, Sukari, Jamiliya, Maidan, Karm Jabal and Qadi Askar as well as the northern suburbs causing several deaths and injuries. Many civilians were also shot dead by regime forces in several neighbourhoods and towns.
Regime forces and pro-Assad militias carried summary executions in various places in the capital, killing at least 15 civilians in the provincial town of Tal Mastaba in eastern Ghouta district and eight more in the town of Qudsaya. They also murdered five civilians in the town of Ma’araba while raided the neighbourhood of Barzeh with military tanks and executed at least seven civilians. Scores of civilians were also shot dead by regime forces in many neighbourhoods and towns.
Fierce fighting was also reported in the neighbourhoods of Ruken Adin and Asaly in Damascus as well as in the provincial town of Qodsaya. Meanwhile, regime forces continued to detonate and bulldoze residential buildings in the neighbourhood of Qabun and the southern neighbourhoods in the capital. Regime forces also shelled the Damascus suburbs of Moadamiya, Saqba and the eastern Ghouta district.
Regime forces resumed their fierce and indiscriminate shelling of densely populated areas throughout the country, leaving scores of civilians dead and wounded while destroying dozens of houses. They shelled the neighbourhoods of Deir Baalba, Jobar, Sultaniya, Khaldiay, Jouret Sheyah and the old city of Homs as well as its provincial towns of Qosayr, Rastan, Talbiseh, Ghanto and Bowayda Sharqiya. They also shelled the Hama suburbs of Hawashi and Aqribat as well as the neighbourhoods of Mahatta and Central Daraa in the city of Daraa in addition to its provinicial towns of Bosra, Heit, Yadouda, Tal Shihab, Tafas and Karak Sharqi.
Regime forces also carried out sweeps, arbitrary arrests and looting in the neighbourhoods of Bayad, Mashaa Tayar and Sheikh Anbar in the city of Hama as well as the Daraa suburbs of Mzereib and Namar in addition to the Damascus suburb of Qatana.
Business Monitor International projected Syria’s budget deficit at 11.3 per cent of GDP in 2012 compared to a deficit of 5.7 per cent in 2011 due to the current crisis.

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