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Rebel hopes rise that reelected Obama will act on Syria as blasts hit Damascus

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Misra Al-Misri/Shaam News Network/Handout/Reuters

(Read caption) Residents flee their homes after what activists say was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at Houla, near Homs yesterday.

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• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

Syrian rebels reportedly fired at the presidential palace in Damascus today, stepping up their campaign of targeting those close to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime even as many push the now safely reelected US President Barack Obama to move more urgently in Syria.

Residents told Reuters that shelling aimed at the presidential palace hit a neighboring community today, while two high-profile attacks on Assad allies took place this week. The brother of the parliamentary speaker was gunned down in Damascus on Tuesday and today the Associated Press reports that, according to Syrian state media, a judge was killed in a car bomb in the capital.

Three large blasts in Damascus this morning, including the failed attempt on the presidential palace, could signal the start of a new phase of the rebel campaign, Susan Ahmad, spokeswoman for the Revolutionary Council in Damascus, told the Guardian via Skype. Reminiscent of the July bombing that killed four of Assad's lieutenants, Ms. Ahmad said the second and third blasts were attributed to rebels targeting a military airport in Mezzeh and a nearby security department.

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