Once again, Enduring America is the first site to report on this. If it can be confirmed, expect more later at other sites. Here's the latest from EA. The site tends to add more during the day until about mid-afternoon.
1526 GMT: Heavy Fighting in Safira. The Syrian opposition is buzzing with news of heavy fighting in Al Safira, just 20 kilometers southwest of Aleppo city (map). The town is significant as a huge military installation is located on the southwest outskirts of the town - a military installation that is suspected of housing Syria's largest single stockpile of chemical weapons.
Several claims speak to heavy fighting, and several of them also suggest that the rebels have won significant victories today. This report is from the LCC:
The Free Syrian Army destroy a military convoy composed of 7 tanks and a BMP vehicles in the Defence Factories, in conjucntion with fierce and ongoing clashes between the Free Syrian Army and regime forces.
Another report claims that a regime warplane was shot down. We've not been able to independently verify either claim, though both would be significant. The LCC purports to internally verify all of their reports before publication.
What we can verify, however, is that the town has been hit by both shelling and airstrikes, and perhaps more than a dozen civilians have been killed. Several videos, including this one, show the bodies of the dead. Other videos show smoke rising above the town.
1241 GMT: Casualties A Free Syrian captain has said that the bodies of at least 68 young men and boys, all executed with a single gunshot to the head or neck, were found on Tuesday in a river in Aleppo.
The captain said more bodies were being dragged from the Quweiq River, which separates the Bustan Al-Qasr district from Ansari in the southwest of the city.
A volunteer said he helped load the bodies on a truck. The victims had no ID on them.
Graphic video has been posted on the bodies.
You'll need to go to EA's Syria roundup in order to activate any links in blue above and learn more. If I have time during the day to get to other sites, i may post stories and links below.
JUST A THOUGHT RE: IRANIAN & WESTERN SECURITY
I don't know yet which FSA units are involved in the attack on the base. If its Al Nusrah (pro-Al Queda), that group has a tendency to nudge out other FSA elements when there is something valuable to grab. On the other hand, the USA has been training other elements in the FSA in event an attack on chemical weapons storage becomes viable, so we'll have to wait and see.
Most Syrians, like most Iranians, have a grudge against the Islamic Republic and its ruling mullahs. I suspect most wouldn't mind some payback to its rulers when Assad falls. That could include assisting any Iranian uprising.
The problem here is that should extreme Islamists get hold of such chemical weapons they aren't prone (as is the FSA) to make distinctions between most Iranians (seen as heretics) and the Iranian government. The West is also a likely target.
The only good thing is that such weapons tend to require special handling. Still, I think of what a Japanese cult did with Sarin in a subway attack.
If it weren't for Iranian and especially Russian support, Assad would have been gone long ago well before these jihadis acquired such a foothold. Thus Putin's policy, based partly on fear of jihadization, has ironically encouraged that process by its persistance in supporting Assad.
If you've missed the Guardian's stories (two of them) on Latakia's worsening situation (worsening from the regime's point of view) you may want to go to the homepage of The Guardian (UK) and its world section to check it out.