Destruction in Aleppo
A general view of the destruction at al-Arqoub neighbourhood, after clashes between Free Syrian Army fighters and regime forces in Aleppo city September 23, 2012. Photo by Reuters
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Government forces intensified their attacks on rebels Sunday in the northern city of Aleppo as well as restive areas outside the capital Damascus, an opposition watchdog said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that troops shelled areas in Aleppo as clashes with rebels continued for the third day over control of the commercial hub. Several houses were destroyed and five people were killed in the city.

Aleppo has been the scene of fighting between President Bashar Assad's troops and rebels for several months. On Friday, opposition fighters launched the largest offensive yet in the province to recapture areas controlled by al-Assad's troops.

Troops backed by planes stormed the Damascus suburb of Harasta and carried out arrest raids in the suburb of Zabadani Sunday, the London-based group said. Nine soldiers were killed when rebels attacked a checkpoint outside Damascus.
More than 160 people were killed in the violence across the country on Saturday, the group said.