BEIRUT – The Free Syrian Army said Tuesday that the “battle for the liberation of Damascus has begun,” as fighting raged in the capital.
In Amman, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said the crisis in Syria is too unpredictable to rule out “any option,” insisting that a Chapter VII resolution of the US Security Council is needed.
Chapter VII of the UN Charter allows for punitive measures against regimes considered a threat to world peace, including economic sanctions and military intervention.
Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has moved army forces from the Golan Heights area next to Israel toward Damascus and other internal conflict zones.
“Victory is nigh,” said the central Homs-based spokesman for the FSA’s Joint Command, Colonel Kassem Saadeddine, adding that the fighting will not stop until the whole of the capital has been conquered.
“We have transferred the battle from Damascus province to the capital,” said Saadeddine. “We have a clear plan to control the whole of Damascus. We only have light weapons, but it’s enough.”
“Expect surprises,” he added, before adding later that rebels had downed a helicopter over Qaboon.
The Assad regime forces deployed helicopters in Damascus for the first time, shooting heavily into anti-regime neighborhoods.
An activist who said he was in Al-Midan neighborhood claimed the army was shelling the neighborhood “hysterically.” “The collapsing regime has gone mad,” the man calling himself Abu Musab said via Skype.
Hague said in Amman at a joint news conference with his Jordanian counterpart, Nasser Judeh: “Clearly, we have failed so far. The process that (peace envoy) Kofi Annan has launched has failed so far to bring about a peaceful political process and so now we need the Security Council to greatly strengthen the pressure for that to happen.” – Agencies