World Bulletin / News Desk
Syrian rebels captured an air defence base east of Aleppo on Friday as government forces battled insurgents on several fronts across the country, activists said.
Clashes were also taking place at a military barracks close to Maarat al-Nuaman, a town on the main highway to the northwestern city of Aleppo which was seized by rebel forces earlier this week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The pro-opposition Observatory gave a death toll for Thursday of more than 260 people, including civilians and combatants on both sides in violence in the capital and the north, west and east.
It said 92 soldiers were killed on Thursday, which would be one of the highest daily casualty counts on the government side since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad broke out in March 2011.
The official SANA news agency also reported fighting nationwide and said dozens of rebels, which it called "mercenary terrorists", had been killed.
The reports could not be independently verified but they indicate a rapidly intensifying conflict, with the death tolls of the past several weeks far exceeding previous months.
Although international attention has focused on the Turkish border in the past week, Aleppo and the city of Homs - north of Damascus and near the border with Lebanon - are being fought over and clashes take place almost daily in the suburbs of the capital Damascus as well as in the countryside.
Turkey scrambled two fighter planes to the border with Syria on Friday after a Syrian military helicopter bombed the Syrian border town of Azmarin.
The Observatory said the air defence base seized by the rebels was located in al-Tana village by the Koris military airport on the road east from Aleppo to al-Raqqa.
Aleppo, Syria's largest city and commercial hub, has been contested since July. The rebel capture of Maarat al-Nuaman cut the highway between Aleppo and Homs, the main route for the government to resupply and reinforce the northern city.
SANA said government forces were mounting operations to clear Aleppo's Karm al-Jabal area of rebels on Friday.
More than 30,000 people have been killed in the conflict which started out as a popular uprising against four decades of Assad family rule then descended into civil war. The armed forces have relied heavily on air power and artillery to hold back the rebels.
Fighting has also spilled over the borders into Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, raising concern that the fighting could spread across the region, now home to 340,000 Syrian refugees.
Last week, Shaimaa's 23-year-old mother arrived dead to central Gaza Strip's Deir al-Balah hospital when doctors found out that her unborn girl had still been alive inside her womb.
When the war turn into barbarism. When hospitals, disability centres , schools are not safe it is not a humanitarian crisis.
Violence in China’s far-western Xinjiang province continues as its Muslim Uighur population face religious and cultural restrictions.
Separately, U.S. lawmakers were working in Congress to provide millions of dollars in additional funding for Israel's "Iron Dome" missile shield.
The Ukranian parliament has rejected the resignation of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Twenty eight migrants, mostly Bangladeshi, were wounded when foremen at a strawberry farm opened fire on about 200 immigrant workers who were protesting for back pay in the southwestern town of Manolada in April last year.
Corey Robin, a Jewish professor of political science at Brooklyn College and a longtime critic of Israel, was also arrested at the protest.
The government increased fuel prices after spending about $3 billion on energy subsidies last year, nearly a third of state revenue.
Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine intend to take part in talks with Moscow, Kiev and the OSCE security and rights organisation in Belarus.
“We brought dolls to refer to the children of Gaza,” Neta Golan, a spokesperson for the group, told Anadolu Agency outside the court.
France, the Philippines and the U.S. also decided to pull out staff this week.
The United Nations relief agency’s Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl condemned the killing children in their sleep.
In the absence of a deal, Israel has ordered its ground forces to focus on locating and destroying a warren of tunnels.
To get aid into Gaza, Iran has to fly it to Egypt and then take it across the Rafah border crossing. The only other option would be to go through Israel, unthinkable for Iran.
A joint rescue team is searching for those missing after a fishing vessel capsized with 48 on board in North Sumatra.
It is likely that the losses sustained by Morganti Development LLC, which owns a stake in the Gaza power plant, will be paid for by U.S. taxpayers, who ironically also help fund the Israeli army.