Fighting intensifies over Syria's largest city
Syrian activists say President Bashar Assad's regime pounded Aleppo with warplanes and artillery shelling Saturday as ground forces seeking to regain momentum in the country's largest city advanced on three neighborhoods.
An activist group called the Local Coordination Committees says 148 people were killed nationwide, including 77 in Aleppo. Aleppo had been relatively quiet for most of the 18-month-old revolt, but it has emerged as the main battleground in Syria's civil war, with both sides largely locked in a stalemate despite the superior firepower of Assad's regime.
The new fighting came as Russia rejected U.S. calls for increased pressure on Assad to relinquish power. After a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in Vladivostok, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters that Moscow is opposed to U.S.-backed penalties against the Assad government, in addition to new ones against Iran over its nuclear program, because they harm Russian commercial interests.
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