President Assad’s forces have launched an all-out onslaught against rebels in Syria’s second city of Aleppo, according to the opposition.
Anti-regime fighters are trying to resist, in what activists say are the most violent clashes since the start of the uprising.
Deaths on both sides have been reported since the beginning of the Aleppo offensive which follows days of bombardment against rebel-held areas. With government tanks said to be moving in, many foreign observers fear a bloodbath.
Visiting his British counterpart, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for international steps to address the military assault and Syria’s threat to use chemical weapons.
“There is a build-up in Aleppo, and the recent statements with respect to the use of weapons of mass destruction are actions that we cannot remain an observer or spectator to,” Erdogan said at a joint news conference with David Cameron.
Amateur video from Aleppo purports to show a number of Syrian soldiers killed by rebels, who are heavily outnumbered and outgunned by government forces.
Despite this, General Robert Mood, the outgoing head of the UN monitoring mission, says he thinks President Assad’s days in power are numbered.