Fierce fighting sees rebels capture oilfield that supplies Asad’s tanks

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Syrian rebels firing mortars and rocket-propelled grenades captured an oilfield in the country’s east yesterday after three days of fierce fighting with government troops, activists said.

The head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdul-Rahman, said rebels overran the Al-Ward oilfield in the province of Deir el-Zour near the border with Iraq which about 40 soldiers were guarding.

“This field used to supply the regime with fuel for its tanks and our aim was to stop these supplies,” said activist Omar Abu Leila.

Earlier yesterday a car bomb exploded near the Dama Rose hotel in the Syrian capital of Damascus, wounding at least 12 people – two of them critically.

The blast was 500 yards from the army chief-of-staff’s building.

In Northeast Raqqa province, the state news agency reported the assassination of a leading member of the ruling Baath party. Gunmen broke into the home of Ismail al-Hamadeh at dawn and shot him as he slept.

Elsewhere in Syria, activists said the army clashed with rebels in the cities of Idlib and Aleppo in the north, in the capital, Damascus, as well as the southern border town of Daraa where the uprising against President Bashar Assad began in March 2011.

In the Damascus suburbs of Harasta and al-Hajira, the army and opposition fighters exchanged heavy fire, killing a handful of rebels, SANA said. The army destroyed some rebel vehicles fitted with machine guns, according to the report.

SANA said that the fiercest fighting took place in Harem on the edge of Idlib, where 30 civilians were killed .