Syrians inspect the site of a car bomb blast
Syrians inspect the site of a car bomb blast AFP photo

Bomb attacks struck Damascus on Friday, killing five soldiers as anti-regime protests and clashes between security forces and rebels continued.

AFP reported that a motorcycle bomb struck as worshippers left a mosque after weekly prayers in the northern neighborhood of Rokn Eddin.

In a second attack, a car bomb caused damage near the courthouses in central Damascus. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said another blast struck the Salhiyeh district.

Witnesses told AFP the capital's southern suburb of Tadamun and neighboring PA Arab refugee camp of Yarmuk came under heavy shellfire.

Meanwhile, the report said, despite violence which swept the country, anti-regime protests were held in several towns and villages.

According to the Britain-based Observatory, on the southeast outskirts of Damascus, hundreds of troops backed by armor stormed the town of Babila, where Free Syrian Army rebels were entrenched.

A raid by security forces on Al-Qazzaz district of southeast Damascus, in which troops rounded up dozens of suspected militants, sparked clashes with rebels, the Observatory said.

In Syria's commercial capital Aleppo in the north, one rebel was killed in clashes with the army in the embattled Salaheddin district, and fighting was also reported in nearby Izaa, the Observatory said.

It also reported heavy shelling of rebel-held areas in the Salaheddin and Tarik al-Bab districts.

Elsewhere, two children were killed when Albu Kamal on the Iraqi border was shelled, and two rebels were killed by mortar fire in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, the Observatory said.

In the northwestern province of Idlib province, scores of homes were destroyed by shelling, while in the central province of Homs, a child was killed in an air strike on rebel-held Rastan and three civilians died in Talbisseh town, it said.

At least 61 people, mostly civilians, were killed nationwide, according to an initial toll by the Observatory.

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Western spy agencies suspect the Syrian government has dispersed several hundred tons of chemical weapons and precursor components across as many as 20 sites across the country.

The sites are being monitored, but officials told The Washington Post there is growing fear that the monitors have not identified every location and that some of the poisons could be stolen or used against civilians.

In another report, Western intelligence officials told the British Telegraph that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has personally sanctioned the dispatch of the experienced officers to ensure that the Assad regime survives the threat to its survival.

Meanwhile, diplomatic sources said that France is providing direct financial and other support to rebel-held cities in Syria.

Aid is being provided in the form of helping to restore water supplies, repair and re-establish schools and other essential services in five cities that were destroyed by government shelling.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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