DAMASCUS, March.29 (Xinhua) -- After several unsuccessful attempts to storm the Syrian capital Damascus or at least to paralyze the daily life in the busy city, rebels in Syria have seemingly opted to escalate their mortar attacks on several parts of the city to push the people toward a compulsory civil disobedience.
Mortar shells have increasingly hit government institutions, schools and residential buildings alike, terrifying people, killing many while forcing most of Damascenes to stay indoors.
On Friday, one person was killed and others wounded when two mortars slammed southern Damascus' suburb of Jaramana.
A day earlier, the faculty of architecture engineering in Damascus University was hit with twin mortars that killed more than 15 students and injured 20 others.
Syria's Special Judicial Investigation Committee ordered on Friday the judicial police to accelerate the investigation regarding the "criminal acts" against Syrian citizens, including the university incident.
Quoted by Syria's state-run news agency SANA, Judge Ahmad Zaher al-Bakri said that the committee asked the judicial police to expand the investigation regarding firing mortar shells at the Architecture Faculty to reach any information that help identify the terrorists.
Syria blames "terrorists" for the strikes that are relatively new in Damascus, which is still moderately far from the violent attacks that hit other parts of the country. In return, opposition activists contended that the government tries to play the Damascenes against the rebels.
Observers believe that the Damascenes have vexed the rebels because of their silence and rejection to join their ranks, noting that the rebels are fully convinced that had the Damascenes revolted against the regime, it would have collapsed long time ago.
What have buoyed this conviction are the too many calls by the opposition for civil disobedience in the capital to hasten the downfall of the current administration.
In a recent televised appearance, Syrian Information Minister, Omran al-Zoubi, told the state-run TV that the rise in the mortar attacks comes in the framework of "carrying out a foreign order of terrorist escalation to the farthest extent."
Al-Zoubi said this escalation aims to give an impression that " terrorists are attacking in the middle of the capital and that as if the state is unable to protect the civilians."
He pledged that these attacks will not continue.
The minister said that the "foreign order" comes "in parallel with the Arab League's decision to give Syria's seat to the "Doha coalition," in reference to the National Coalition for revolutionary forces and the Syrian opposition.
The Arab summit, which was held Monday in Doha, also confirmed the right of the Arab countries to arm the opposition.
Yet, it's unlikely that the Damascenes will heed the call and declare civil rebellion, contrary to the rebels' prospects, observers said, suggesting that residents of the capital are increasingly getting impatient with the rebels' attacks and are now more confident that the area the rebels enter would be ruined, an issue they won't ever tolerate.
However, the Western-backed rebels seem following a systematic method as part of their efforts to bring down the capital.
On Friday, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a pro-opposition watchdog, said the rebels had taken control over the town of Dael in the southern province of Daraa, about 15 kilometer from the Jordanian frontier.
The strategic town, close to the Jordanian border, seems crucial for the rebels in their attempt to push their way toward Damascus, their ultimate prize, especially after recent report issued by Western media that exposed an increasing flow of weapons and cash to the rebels especially through Jordan to the southern Syrian region, which is largely believed to be the stage of the death match between the Syrian troops and rebels.
On March 17, Syria's al-Watan daily revealed in a special report that hundreds of jihadists equipped with light and medium machine guns, anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons as well as four- wheel drive vehicles had entered Syria from Jordan through the southern province of Daraa.
"Thus, Jordan has succumbed to the United States and Gulf States' pressure to become, like Lebanon and Turkey, a passage to the jihadists and arms into Syria," the paper said.
WASHINGTON, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. State Department said on Thursday that the head of exiled Syrian opposition coalition Moaz al-Khatib will finish his six-month term.
"Our understanding is that he has now said that he will fulfill his responsibilities," said State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland. "He was named president for six months. That takes you a little while longer." Full story