Syrian regime launches multiple offensives against rebels in north
A Syrian rebel fighter points his rifle through a hole in sandbags as he holds a position in a trench, 100m away from the regime-controlled military base of Wadi Deif in Idlib province. AFP photo
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Rebel bases near a military air base in Aleppo and other rebel outposts across Syria's north were pounded by regime attacks late Tuesday, as forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad stepped up their campaign against their opposition.
Those who oppose the Assad regime have been trying to seize Kweiras and two additional military airbases in the strategic Aleppo province without success. The regime has recently amped up efforts and launched a ruthless offensive against the rebels in the north, in a bid to regain territory that has been rebel held for the majority of the conflict.
According to activists who spoke to The Associated Press, regime warplanes also targeted the villages of Atareb and Kfar Hamra in the northern Aleppo province. Loyalist troops also clashed within Aleppo city with rebels, according to AP reports. There have been no immediate reports of casualties or injuries.
Since toppling the strategic border town of Qusayr, regime forces have heightened their offensive against the rebels, launching intense attacks on both Homs and Aleppo.
In the northern Idlib province, a housing complex in a rebel-held village exploded and killed 20 people, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Observatory, a British based organisation that relies on an intricate network of Syrian professionals for its information, said that there had been no immediate reports on what caused the blast and who was responsible for it.
The housing block belonged to Ahmed Al Mubarak, a member of the Syrian parliament, according to the Observatory. Mubarak was not in the block at the time of the explosion, but his brother was killed in the blast.
The Syrian uprising began more than two years ago with peaceful protests against Assad calling for political reform. The violence has now developed into an increasingly brutal civil war based on sectarian lines. According to a recent UN report, the conflict has killed at least 93,000 people since it began, including over 6,500 children.
An estimated 1.6 million Syrians have been displaced by the conflict, seeking refuge in neighbouring countries such as Jordan and Lebanon, heightening fears that if the conflict spillover into the region, the entire Middle East may become embroiled in conflict.