Damascus: Mid-day news update 4-16-13

EyewitnessThe update from Damascus and its suburbs is provided by Shahed News, a network of vetted Syrian citizen journalists providing independent, accurate and reliable news from Damascus and its suburbs.

Damascus:

* Damascus had been calm until a car bomb exploded in al-Fahameh, followed by a heavy deployment of security and ambulances.

Outer Damascus:

* [Regime] heavy artillery bombardment targets the Southern Highway area near Zamalka, Irbin and Jobar.

* Air force raids the farms of Malayha in eastern Ghouta, the mortar bombardment on the town continues. Clashes [between the FSA and the army] continued near THAMICO.

* Four killed in mortar bombardment on Babila.

Politics:

* Moaz al-Khatib, the head of the Syrian National Coalition, calls for Jabhat a-Nusra to cut its ties with al-Qaeda. He said the revolutionary forces in Syria reject al-Qaeda’s ideology.