Escalation: Warplanes strike Syria’s second largest city

It is thought to be the first time that Assad forces warplanes have been used in Aleppo, a BBC correspondent says.

Rebels launched an offensive against Aleppo at the weekend in an attempt to wrest control of the city from the army. Fierce fighting has been reported close to Aleppo’s historic Old City.

Helicopter gunships were reportedly involved in the clashes earlier on Tuesday, the BBC’s Ian Pannell says from the outskirts of Aleppo.

Pro-government troops bombarded the city, Syria’s commercial centre, with shells and rocket fire as the government attempted to take back districts seized by the rebels.

A French correspondent there has spoken of rebels besieging a police headquarters close to the walls of the Old City, which is a world heritage site.

UDPATE TO FOLLOW


Sources and more information:

Syria Fighting Spreads to Aleppo

CAIRO – Witnesses report heavy fighting Saturday in Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, along with more clashes and shelling in the capital, Damascus. Government troops continue to try and claw back territory lost to rebel fighters in recent days, shelling other major towns and cities, but with limited success.

Turkey-Syria border almost war zone

According to Turkish media, Turkey has moved another five anti-aircraft missile batteries to its border with Syria. In a related development, reported by Syrian media, the Syrian army has used helicopter gunships against an estimated 150 Al Qaeda fighters as they tried to cross into Syrian territory from Turkey.

Syria’s Assad and his family still in Damascus – Al Arabiya