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Warsaw also announced that it had closed its embassy and evacuated its diplomats from Damascus due to the deteriorating security situation. Poland’s embassy had been representing U.S. interests in the Syria since the U.S. closed its own in February.

Turkey’s state-run agency said a Syrian legislator from Aleppo has fled to Turkey and also warned that Syria was preparing for a massive offensive on cities where rebels are fighting government forces. The Anadolu agency said Friday that Ikhlas Badawi has defected in protest of the Syrian regime’s “violence against the people.”

She would be the first member of Syria’s new parliament that was elected in May to defect.

In January, Legislator Imad Ghalioun left the country to join the opposition, saying Syria was suffering sweeping human rights violations. He was from the city of Homs that was being subjected to a massive regime attack at the time.

On Friday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory said troops bombarded the Aleppo neighborhood of Fardous, killing at least four people. It added that a Sunni cleric, Abdul-Latif al-Shami, was kidnapped and killed in Aleppo. It gave no further details, although some activists said al-Shami is a government supporter.

Besides the violence in Aleppo, regime forces also shelled the central city of Homs, the northern town of Maaret al-Numan, the southern city of Daraa, and Damascus suburbs, the Observatory said, citing a network of sources on the ground.

Heilprin reported from Geneva. Frank Jordans contributed from Berlin.