Iran and Syria condemned a U.S. plan to assist rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad on Saturday and signaled the Syrian leader intends to stay in power at least until 2014 presidential elections.
Rebels backed by captured tanks launched a fresh offensive on a government complex housing a police academy near the northern city of Aleppo on Sunday, while the government hit back with airstrikes to try to protect the strategic installation, activists said.
The battle for Syria's second-largest airport intensified Saturday as government troops tried to reverse recent strategic gains the rebels have made in the northeast in their quest to topple President Bashar Assad.
Syrian rebels knocked down army defenses and moved in on the country's second-largest airport Wednesday, reportedly killing more than 40 soldiers and bringing them closer to what could be their biggest conquest since the beginning of the civil war.
Rebels captured a small military base near Aleppo on Tuesday and stormed another in the same area that protects a major airport, a day after seizing Syria's largest dam.
Syrian government troops battled rebels in several areas outside Damascus on Sunday while regime warplanes bombed opposition-held areas around the capital, including an airstrike on one village that killed at least seven people, activists said.
Islamic militants seeking to topple President Bashar Assad took full control of a strategic northwestern air base Friday in a significant blow to government forces, seizing helicopters, tanks and multiple rocket launchers, activists said.
Rebels attacked a sprawling air base in northern Syria on Wednesday as the opposition expanded its offensive on military airports in an attempt to sideline a major weapon in the hands of President Bashar Assad's forces.
Syrian troops and rebels fought Tuesday in suburbs of Damascus as well as near Aleppo's airport, stopping all flights in and out of the northern city, activists and state media said.