Syrian Rebels, Government Forces Clash in the North

Posted August 29th, 2012 at 2:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Syrian rebels and government forces engaged in fierce fighting Wednesday near a military airport between the northern cities of Aleppo and Idlib.

An activist group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told VOA that 14 government troops were killed or injured in the clashes, while three rebels died.

Rebels entrenched in Aleppo and Idlib have targeted the Taftanaz military airport several times. The two cities have been shelled daily by government troops.

Activists also reported a third day of army attacks on rebel strongholds in the eastern outskirts of Damascus. Attacks in and around the capital in the past week have killed hundreds of people.

The fighting came as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said more time is needed to win the conflict against rebels trying to overthrow him.

In an interview with Syria's privately-owned Addounia television, Mr. Assad described the situation on the ground as better but unresolved.

The Syrian leader has vowed to defeat rebels he has characterized as Islamist terrorists. Human rights groups have accused Mr. Assad's regime of committing many atrocities in its attempts to crush the uprising.