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Army defectors attack office of Syria's ruling political party, according to report

Army defectors struck the offices of the Baath political party Thursday, according to a media report

Free syrian army 2011 11 2Enlarge
Members of the Free Syrian Army at a safehouse on northern Lebanon's border with Syria. (Skyeboat Films/Courtesy)

In an increasing show of defiance, army defectors attacked the offices of Syria's ruling political party Thursday in Northwestern Syria, The New York Times said, citing reports by activist groups.

The Syrian government has not confirmed the reported attack, and further details of the incident have not been reported. 

Army defectors in Syria attacked a building used by the national intelligence services near the capital of Damascus the day before, a move Russia was reported to have said was bringing the country to the brink of civil war.

Opposition militants say members of the Free Syrian Army attacked the Air Force Intelligence base in Harasta with rockets and machine-guns, the BBC reported.

The network said the base is among the most feared state agencies, and has been involved in the suppression of protests against President Bashar al-Assad.

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While army defectors have carried out a number of attacks on military targets in recent weeks, the Harasta incident is the most high profile, the BBC reported.

Meanwhile Syrian state television said on Tuesday that the government had freed more than 1,000 prisoners.

The move comes as Turkey and the United Nations called on President Bashar al-Assad to end his government's crackdown on protests, Agence France Presse reported.

Syria says it will boycott a meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Moroccan capital Rabat, which was called to discuss the ongoing violence in the country.

The move comes four days after Syria was suspended from the 22-nation bloc.
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/111116/syria-army-defectors-attack-intelligence-base