Fighters for the insurgent Free Syrian Army launched what they described as an exploratory attack on a military base housing Syria’s elite Republican Guard in Damascus late Monday, and the ferocious reaction on Tuesday convinced them their foray had been something of a success.
The Syrian armed forces responded with heavy shelling of the suburb of Qudssaya, an area with strong opposition presence about two and a half miles northwest of the Presidential Palace, and on Barzeh in northern Damascus, about three miles northeast. Activists reported that as many as 33 residents were killed.
In an apparently unrelated development, a Syrian Air Force Lieutenant General was kidnapped by armed men from his home in Damascus, according to Syrian State Television, who identified him as Lt. Gen. Farage Shihada al Maqat. He was taken from his home in the Al Adawi neighborhood of Damascus, an exclusive area where dignitaries and Russian advisers live.