Syrian troops battle rebels near Damascus, Aleppo
Activists say Syrian government forces are battling rebels outside the capital Damascus and in Aleppo, where fighting for control over the country's largest city has raged for more than two weeks.
Syrian troops say they have purged rebels from the capital after intense, week-long battles last month. But rebels continue to stage hit-and-run attacks and are active in the suburbs around the city.
Shelling and clashes are also continuing in the northern city Aleppo. The rebels say they are low on ammunition but still managing to put up resistance against a regime ground offensive there.
Meanwhile, the U.N. refugee agency says nearly 150,000 people fleeing Syria's civil war have sought its help, and the figure is expected to rise significantly. The agency's offices in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq have all reported big increases this week.
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