Syrian media blasts Hamas leadership for abandoning Syria’s Assad

As fighting intensifies in Damascus, new video of missing U.S. journalist surfaces and Syrian State TV describes Hamas’ leader Khaled Meshal as ‘ungrateful & traitorous’

Syria’s state-run media have criticized the leader of the Palestinian militant group Hamas – once a staunch ally of the Damascus regime – for turning his back on President Bashar Assad.

Heavy shelling in Aleppo, Syria

Empty streets are seen as smoke rises from Aleppo’s Bustan al-Qasr district, due to heavy shelling on the area, October 1, 2012. – Photo by Reuters

Syrian TV in a late Monday broadcast described Hamas leader Khaled Meshal as “ungrateful and traitorous.”

Meshal used to be based in Damascus but now spends most of his time in Qatar, which backs Syrian rebels battling Assad’s troops. Most Hamas leaders have left Syria to settle in Egypt, where their allies in the Muslim Brotherhood are in power.

Relations between Assad’s regime and Hamas have been disintegrating since Syria’s uprising erupted over 18 months ago. Hamas at first took a neutral stance, but then in February, the group praised Syrians for “moving toward democracy and reform.”

Syrian troops intensified their attack on an area near Damascus for the second day on Tuesday, activists said. “Nine people were killed and 30 wounded in the area of Douma as troops stormed the outskirts of the region,” activist Haytham al-Abdallah said from the Syrian capital.

The heavy shelling prompted many residents to flee to safer regions overnight.

Activists in Lebanon said Syrian troops had also launched a wide-scale attack on Zabadani, near Lebanon, from where the shelling could be heard.

Syrian ebels seized overnight an undisclosed number of missiles when they attacked an air force base in the eastern Damascus area of Ghotta, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Fighting also continued in Aleppo, the country’s largest city and commercial center, with rebels claiming to have scored advances in the key neighborhood of Hanano.


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