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Syria conflict centres on Aleppo

Syria conflict centres on Aleppo
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Aleppo has become the main arena for conflict as bloody battles are staged in Syria’s second largest city.

Following a major assault on the rebels in the capital Damascus, government forces are turning their attentions to Aleppo in the north where rebels claim to control 50 percent of the city.

Aleppo is of strategic importance to the rebels due to its position near the Turkish border where weapons can be acquired and foreign fighters are said to be joining the opposition.

Fighting is said to be concentrated in three neighbourhoods. Government forces allegedly used warplanes to bomb rebels armed with rifles and machine guns.

The new head of the UN observer mission, Babacar Gaye has arrived in Damascus as a number of observers head home. The UN mission has been extended by 30 days but Russia has blocked any further extension.

“We have 30 days, and around 27 to go, so every opportunity will be seized to alleviate the suffering of the population. This is our main concern,” Gaye explained.

According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, around 19,000 have been killed since the conflict began, most of them civilians.