The 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 the capital has been calm today, with the exception of the rocket bombardment on Jobar district and the industrial area in Qaboon.
* The [government] bombardment continues on the Outer Damascus communities of Mouadamiyah, Darayya, Duma, Zamalka, Deir Khibeh and Bait Sahem.
* 17, including women and children, were killed in Jedaydat al-Fadel. Some of them were killed in the bombing and regime forces that invaded the town executed the others.
* Regime forces attempt to invade Darayya from the south, near Sahnaya, using more than 15 tanks and a large number of [army] vehicles. There were fierce battles [between the army and the FSA], as the later resisted. The city has been under [government] bombing since the morning; two civilians were killed and tens were injured. The air force has raided both Darayya and Mouadamiyah.
* Regime heavy artillery and rocket bombardment target the city of Zamalka. Fierce clashes [between the army and the FSA] occurred on the Southern Highway near the city at the same time.
* Fierce clashes [between the FSA and the army] near the city of Mouadamiyah. The FSA causes many losses to the government army.
* Republican Senator, John McCain expresses anger towards the Obama’s administration slow response to the Syrian crisis. The congressman insisted that the US should at very least, impose a no fly zone in Syria. In an Armed Services Committee hearing, the American administration renewed its opposition to military intervention in Syria.
* Despite Washington’s announcement of its military activities in Jordan, and the Syrian president’s warnings that the war might extend to it, Jordan stresses on Thursday, April 18, its rejection of any military involvement in Syria, and its backing a political solution for the crisis.