Around 206 people, including at least 20 children have been
killed by Syrian regime forces on Friday in heavy shelling of
opposition held areas in the Damascus suburbs several districts of
Aleppo and Deir Ezzour, the activist group Local Coordination
Committees (LCC) reported.
The group reported that at least 40 were killed in what it said
was a “massacre” in Deir Ezzour. The town’s local LCC branch said
the massacre was cause army helicopter shelling.
Activists reported heavy shelling by Syrian forces on several
districts of Aleppo, scene of the fiercest fighting since the
conflict first entangled the commercial and manufacturing hub a
Several houses were destroyed, the Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights said, also reporting a bombardment on the town of Aazaz to
At least 50 unidentified bodies were also found shot dead in the
last 24 hours, notably in Aleppo and Damascus, it said, amid
proliferating reports of summary executions.
Rebels said they were digging in for a war of attrition in Aleppo,
where the regime had warned last month of “the mother of all
battles” for the city.
“We don’t have enough weapons, they (the Syrian army) don’t have
enough men,” said Abu Haidar, a rebel fighter in the southwestern
Saif al-Dawla district.
Both the government and opposition forces say attacks on Aleppo
province are aimed at cutting arms supply routes to the rebels in
Syria’s second city, once a thriving metropolis of 2.7 million
people but now largely in ruins.
"The absence of a solution to violence in Syria allows for
increased foreign intervention and the spread of extremism,"
Abdelbasset Sida, president of the main opposition Syrian National
Council, told Al Arabiya on Friday.
Rebels claimed earlier this week to control 60 percent of Aleppo
but the regime has dismissed the claims and said Thursday the army
had recaptured three Christian neighborhoods, where residents are
Amnesty International warned Thursday that civilians were facing
“horrific” violence in Aleppo as the regime waged indiscriminate
The United Nations’ refugee agency, meanwhile, said that more than
200,000 Syrian refugees have fled the deadly in the country since
the beginning of the crisis last year, surpassing a projected a
figure of 185,000 earlier set out by the United Nations.
The total reflects an increase of some 30,000 in the last week
alone to Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan, but also takes into
account a change in the way the agency counts those in Jordan, the
U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said.
“We are now at a much higher level of 202,512 refugees in the
surrounding region,” Adrian Edwards told a news briefing in Geneva
on Friday. “The deteriorating security situation in Lebanon is
hampering our work to help refugees fleeing Syria’s conflict,
though operations are continuing.”
More than 3,500 people fleeing violence in Syria have entered
Turkey over the last 24 hours, Turkey’s Disaster and Emergency
Management Directorate (AFAD) said on Friday, one of the highest
daily refugee flows since the start of the uprising last year.
The new arrivals bring the number of Syrian refugees now
sheltering in Turkey to more than 78,000, AFAD said. There were
some 44,000 refugees registered at the end of July.