AMMAN Aug 24 Syrian troops backed by tanks
entered the centre of Daraya, a town on the southwest edge of
Damascus, on Friday after three days of heavy ground and
helicopter bombardment, opposition activists said.
Hundreds of troops and dozens of tanks and armoured vehicles
were seen on al-Thawra street in central Daraya, taking control
of the sprawling suburb as a core group of Free Syrian Army
fighters pulled out, several activists said by phone from the
Daraya, which has a population of a quarter of a million, is
one of a series of mostly poor Sunni Muslim suburbs that
surround Damascus and have been at the forefront of the uprising
against President Bashar al-Assad, an Alawite.
"The rebels have mostly slipped away. The fear now is that
the army will round up young men and summarily execute them, as
it did in Mouadamiya," activist Abu Kinan said from Daraya.
He was referring to a nearby suburb where residents reported
the summary execution of at least 40 people earlier this week
after troops stormed it in pursuit of rebels.
Killings were also reported in other areas of Damascus
stormed by Assad's forces, including the Qaboun district where
at least 46 people were killed on Wednesday, Jdeideh in the west
and Nahr Eisha in the south of the capital earlier this month.
The reports by activists and residents could not be verified
independently because of restrictions by Syrian authorities on