Fierce fighting raged for a second straight day in Syria’s commercial capital Aleppo yesterday, as government troops pressed home their offensive against Western-backed armed gangs.
Clashes between Syrian security forces and armed gangs intensified along the Syria-Lebanon border, while the battle raged on in Homs and Aleppo.
The deadliest fighting took place in the western province of Homs where around 150 rebels were killed in an army operation.
Heavy clashes were also underway in the northern city of Aleppo.
There were reports of fierce fighting in the neighbourhoods of Salah el-Din and Bab al-Hadid in Aleppo.
Rebels were said to be using civilians as human shields.
Government forces repelled an attack on the house of the police chief and confiscated a large arms cache in the city.
Syrian state television said that rebels, having failed to hold areas of the capital Damascus, were now trying to turn Aleppo into ‘a den for their terrorism’.
The state-controlled al-Watan newspaper proclaimed the fight for Aleppo as ‘the mother of all battles’.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem is in Iran seeking support amid the continued violence in his country. He accused Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar of conspiring against Syrians.
Muallem and his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi confirmed in a media conference that the two countries take a similar stance on the ongoing military conflict in Syria. The event was broadcast live by Iranian Press TV.
The Syrian official said his country is capable of defending itself and that the latest attack of foreign pressure in Aleppo will be deflected.
Salehi called on the regional powers to stop supporting the Syrian opposition, arguing that the power vacuum which would open up should the government in Damascus fall would result in dire consequences for the whole region.