Conflict & Justice

Syrian airstrikes kill 20 as aggression amps up



A picture shows destruction in the Al-Sukkari district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on April 5, 2013.



Syrian government airstrikes killed at least 20, activists said, as the regime tried to crush rebel advances, ousting rebels from a village near the Aleppo airport.

Intense fighting is reported on the outskirts of Aziza after Syrian forces drove rebels out late last night after weeks of clashes, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on its Facebook page.

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The series of heavy airstrikes targeted at least seven cities or regions today, leaving at least 20 civilians dead.

The government also urged rebels to lay down their weapons in a text message that warned the army is "coming to get you."

The warning came as the Syrian army was reportedly advancing in hotspots around the capital Damascus and in the central province of Homs, according to local media reports.

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Syrian rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad already have control of large swaths of northern Syria and have made gains in recent weeks, seizing military bases and towns near the border of Jordan.

They're also getting more weapons through Jordan and training there by the US and other countries.

According to rebel officials, the civilian death toll from last week's fighting topped 800.

In February, the United Nations estimated that 70,000 people had been killed in the fighting since the rebel uprising began in March 2011.