Syrian forces strike capital as rebels focus on Aleppo


Syrian forces bombarded three districts of Damascus with helicopter gunships today, witnesses said, clawing back territory from rebels a week after the fighters launched what they called a final battle for the capital.

Fighting also raged around the main intelligence headquarters in Syria's biggest city, Aleppo -the country's main commercial and industrial hub - and in Deir al-Zor on the Euprhates river, the largest city in the east.

Rebels said they had captured a third border crossing with Turkey today, Bab al-Salam north of Aleppo, while Iraqi officials said Syrian forces had regained control of one of two border crossings seized by rebels on the frontier with Iraq.

The helicopter bombardments in Damascus and Deir al-Zor showed Syria president Bashar al-Assad's determination to regain control after a bomb killed four members of his high command in the gravest blow in the 16-month-old revolt.

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