Syrian Forces Bombard Aleppo from Ground and Air

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

BEIRUT (AP) - There have been reports of battles coming from at least three separate areas in Syria today.

Activists say rebels are in the second day of an offensive in Aleppo, the country's largest city. They say government warplanes and ground forces have been pounding the city with bombs and mortar rounds today as soldiers battle rebels in its narrow streets.

Syria troops are still struggling to clear the city of lightly-armed rebel forces nearly five weeks after they stormed their way into it. Rebel fighters are targeting security facilities, including an artillery training school, a compound of the feared air force intelligence, and a large army checkpoint.

Fighting and shelling have also been reported in Damascus. Syrian government forces have been able to recapture most areas of the capital that rebels seized in a July offensive, but opposition fighters continue to stage hit-and-run attacks there. The

Activists also say rebels have captured an air defense facility in the east of the country near the border with Iraq. Opposition forces claim to have made advances in the area over the past days.

The new U.N. envoy to Syria says President Bashar Assad's regime should realize that the need for change is both "urgent" and "necessary." In an interview with al-Arabiya television, Lakhdar Brahimi also told the Syrian government that it must respond to the "legitimate" demands of the Syrian people.

Brahimi is replacing Kofi Annan, who quit after his six-point plan failed to stop the bloodshed.

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