23 Jan 2012

Rebels briefly in control in Douma

5:47 am on 23 January 2012

Rebels in Syria say army deserters briefly took control of much of the Damascus suburb of Douma after fierce fighting on Saturday night.

It was reportedly the first time the rebels had attempted such a set piece rather than their usual hit-and-run attacks.

However, BBC reports only a basic police force was present in Douma by Saturday night.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the rebels later withdrew for fear of reprisal raids from government forces.