Allepo hospital hit in airstrike
Airstrikes by the Syrian government damaged a hospital in the northern city of Aleppo early today and flattened a building next to it, killing at least 15 people and leaving as many as 40 missing in an attack that closed one of the city's few functioning medical facilities, anti-government activists said.
Video purporting to depict the aftermath showed the facade shorn off the first three stories of the hospital, with its name, Dar el-Shifa, in red letters on its tower. Beside it, another building was reduced to a two-story pile of rubble.
People milled in the street, shouting "God is great."
Among the 15 people confirmed dead were two hospital workers and two children, said Abu Louai al-Halabi, an activist in Aleppo, adding that up to 40 people were still believed to be trapped under the rubble. One man was pulled out alive several hours after the explosion, according to another video posted on the Internet by opponents of president Bashar Assad.
Rebels, meanwhile, claimed to have seized a military base in eastern Syria, giving them control of an area of oil-producing territory as tensions increased between ethnic Kurds and anti-government rebels in northeastern Syria. The developments came a day after a well-known anti-government activist was arrested during a bold protest that showed that the non-violent opposition movement is still struggling to survive even as civil war deepens.
In the old market in central Damascus, the activist, Rima Dali raised a banner calling for "the end of all military operations" - an act of extraordinary defiance during a time of tight security and surveillance in the capital.
Ms Dali and three other women stood in wedding dresses in the middle of the arched Souk al-Hamediya, usually bustling with spice sellers but apparently nearly empty.
Photographs were posted on Dali's and other activists' sites.
"Syria is for all of us," the banners read. "You are tired and we are tired. We want to live. Another solution ..." A video emailed by another activist appeared to show the women being led away by security forces.
Ms Dali had been arrested in March for standing silently in front of Parliament with a sign reading, "Stop the killing" and calling for "Syria for all Syrians."
Such acts of civil disobedience have been eclipsed as the Syrian protest movement grew into a civil war that has killed more than 30,000 people but beneath the surface tensions still ripple between rebel leaders and government opponents who favour a less violent approach.
In eastern Syria, a McClatchy correspondent in the province of Deir Az-Zour reported that rebels appeared to control two of the three oil fields there, siphoning light crude to burn for heat and to sell, and robbing the government of key revenues.
In Ras al-Ain, near the Turkish border in northeastern Syria, anti-government activists said that numerous units of rebels and Kurdish fighters appeared to be massing and that residents feared imminent clashes.
Tensions have been growing in the area between rebels and Kurds from the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, an affiliate of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party, which long received support from the Syrian government.
New York Times