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

Damascus:

*Barzeh: Government forces target the district with 16 surface-to-surface missiles. The Russian Tochka SS21 missiles were fired by Brigade 156, which operates under the Third Division in Qutayfah. The death toll has reached 5 and tens of people have been injured. The missiles destroyed some buildings and some families are still stuck under debris.

*Al-Yarmouk Camp: Several shells land on Safad Street.

*Mazzeh: Security forces deployed near the mosques of al-Kabier, al-Kafarsosi, al-Ekhlas, al-Farouk, al-Mustafa and al-Zahar during Friday prayers.

*Al-Hajar al-Aswad: Regime forces target the district with mortars as worshipers left the mosque.

Outer Damascus:

*Government forces heavy rocket, artillery and mortar bombardment reported on the towns of Mouadamiya, al-Ziabiya, Yalda and Melayha. Clashes between the army and the FSA have been reported in Melayha in the Thameco Pharmaceuticals area.

*Harran al-Awameed: [Government] reinforcements made of five T72 tanks, seven armored vehicles, six buses of soldiers and vehicles mounted with machine guns are headed for the town.

*Yalda: [The government] renews its heavy bombardment on the town.

*Bait Sahem: Government mortar bombardment on the town during the Friday prayers. Heavy clashes occurred simultaneously around the town.

Politics:

* The regime’s government rejects a UN investigation into allegations of chemical weapons use. Diplomats at the UN said no agreement has been reached regarding sending inspectors to Syria. The UN General Secretary Ban Ki Moon stressed that the organization wants to investigate all the reports. The Syrian ambassador to the UN, Bashar al-Jafari, said that inspectors should be allowed only to the locations where chemical weapons were used, such as Aleppo.

* The head of the Syrian National Coalition Moaz al-Khatib said there is a great threat to Syria’s unity.  Meanwhile, the Syrian National Council gathered in Istanbul to discuss forming a transitional government headed by Ghassan Hito.

* Lebanese President Michel Sulaiman called on Thursday for an international conference to discuss establishing refugee camps for Syrians run by the UN inside Syria. He also called for other countries to take in the new refugees coming to Lebanon.

* The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday that “it will continue to send humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees in neighboring countries and to those internally displaced.”