Aleppo violence ongoing after Scud attacks

Feb. 24, 2013 at 2:35 PM
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ALEPPO, Syria, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar Assad said they killed "scores" of rebel fighters in Aleppo and the countryside surrounding Homs Sunday.

Syrian state television and radio reports indicated fighting continued in Aleppo a day after Assad's forces deployed Russian Scud missiles, killing hundreds of civilians. Syrian rebel forces dropped out of international talks aimed at ending the fighting after the missiles were used, the BBC said Saturday.

Government forces said they attacked a rebel checkpoint, killing several and seizing six vehicles loaded with weapons and ammunition.

In Homs, Assad's army targeted other rebel installations, destroying several vehicles with heavy machine guns attached and capturing mobile missile launchers.

Responding to reports of violence against civilians, particularly women and children, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan said his country will stand with the rebel fighters.

"We won't be among those who keep silent when innocent children, women and the elderly are killed en masse in Syria every day," Erdogan said. "We will not remain silent towards Syria's despotic dictator, who has been silent and not reacted to the occupiers of his country's territories for decades but is conducting ruthless massacres against his own people."

Turkey has taken in tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in tent camps near the border and has at several points scrambled fighter planes when the conflict has threatened to spill over the border.

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