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Assad´s Forces Pound Rebels in Aleppo (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Elad Benari 08/05/12) Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/158583#.UB3vnfYgeuk
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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad´s forces used artillery, planes and a helicopter gunship to pound rebel positions in Aleppo on Saturday night, witnesses told Reuters.
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The report said that Syrian forces struck at Aleppo´s Salaheddine district, a gateway into the city of 2.5 million people that has become the frontline of the conflict that has killed some 18,000 people.
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A local rebel commander said his fighters were preparing for a “strong offensive” by government forces on the city.
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Meanwhile in the capital Damascus, jets bombarded the city as troops kept up an offensive they began on Friday to storm the last rebel bastion there, a resident said.
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Both cities had been relatively free from violence during the 17- month uprising but fighting flared in Damascus after a July 18 bombing which killed four of Assad´s inner circle and also erupted in Aleppo.
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A rebel commander in Aleppo told Reuters on Saturday he expected a Syrian army attack on rebels “within days.”
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“We know they are planning to attack the city using tanks and aircraft, shooting at us for three to four days and they plan to take the city,” Colonel Abdel-Jabbar al-Oqaidi said.
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Rebels tried to extend their area of control in Aleppo from Salaheddine to the area around the television and radio station, but were pushed back by Assad´s troops, an activist said.
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In Damascus, a resident in the Adawi neighbourhood just north of the central Old City reported that jets had pounded an area of the capital on Saturday.
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On Friday, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly voted to condemn the Syrian government and demanded a political transition in Syria.
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The 193-nation assembly approved the Saudi-drafted resolution, which expressed “grave concern” at the escalation of violence in Syria, with 133 votes in favor, 12 against and 31 abstentions.
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Assad´s staunch ally Russia was among the 12 countries that opposed the resolution in the assembly, where no country has a veto but all decisions are non-binding. Others that voted against it included China, Iran, North Korea, Belarus, Cuba and other nations that often criticize the West.
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Russia later condemned the resolution on Syria as “harmful,” complaining that it was tantamount to a show of support for rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that the Saudi-drafted resolution “hides blatant support to the armed opposition.”
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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Friday that the reported brutality in Aleppo may amount to crimes against humanity. (IsraelNationalNews © 2011 08/05/12)
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