A school which Syrian activists claimed was being used by the military and pro-government militias was destroyed on Tuesday by Syrian rebels. Bombs planted at the school by the opposition fighters reportedly caused extensive damage and killed several officers, although how many may have died is unclear.
The government confirmed “terrorists” had attacked the building through their state-owned Syria TV channel, but downplayed the extent of the damage and accused the fighters of targeting civilians. Opposition fighters say the building, which was located near a military intelligence compound, was being used by the government and their loyal militias.
“At exactly 9:35am, seven improvised devices were set off in two explosions to target a school used for weekly planning meetings between shabbiha [thugs] militia and security officers,” said Abu Moaz, a leader of the Ansar Al-Islam rebel group, Reuters reported.
The British based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported at least 20 people were wounded in the attack, most of who are believed to be military personnel. SOHR also reported rebel fighters had managed to detain three government soldiers during fighting along the Jordanian border in Dera’a province, one of which is believed to be a lieutenant.
The fighting in Syria also spilled over into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday, where mortar rounds were reported to have landed in an orchard. According to a statement released by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), the mortar shells may have been meant for Syrian villages along the border region in response to the rebel presence in the area.
“The IDF has filed a complaint with the UN forces operating in the area, saying that fire from Syria leaking into Israel will not be accepted,” the IDF statement read. “IDF forces remain alert and will continue their routine activity, protecting the borders and the residents of the State of Israel.”
The Golan Heights is an occupied territory controlled by Israel and not recognised as being under their jurisdiction by the international community. It was invaded during the 1967 war and eventually annexed in 1981. The Israeli military held training exercises in the area last week which they claimed was planned well in advance and was not linked to current developments. The drills were the largest of their kind in years.
Fighting on Monday claimed a total of 140 deaths, 99 of which SOHR claimed were unarmed civilians. The UN estimates that 20,000 people have lost their lives due to the fighting in Syria. Many activists considered this a conservative figure and cite numbers as high as 30,000.
On Monday, the UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi warned the United Nations security council that the situation in Syria was worsening. Brahimi revealed there had been widespread use of torture and that civilians were afraid to go to government hospitals for fear of being killed or arrested.