Get IOL's cool new iPad app...
Cairo - Dozens of civilians were killed or injured Wednesday when a government fighter jet struck a petrol station near the Syrian capital Damascus, reported an opposition group.
The attack occurred in the area of al-Mleiha, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Video footage posted online showed charred bodies and vehicles, allegedly as a result of the airstrike.
Meanwhile, at least 12 people from the same family were killed in a shelling attack by government forces in the Damascus suburb of Maadamiyet al-Sham, reported the observatory.
The restive district has been the target of a crackdown by troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad for the second straight day.
Rebels have been fighting government troops in and around Damascus for weeks, raising the possibility that al-Assad could lose his hold on the capital.
Elsewhere, government jets bombarded a pro-rebel town in the northern province of Idlib, where insurgents are fighting to control a major military airport, reported opposition activists.
The jets pounded the town of Taftanaza, causing heavy damage, as rebels were clashing with government troops to seize the town's airport, added the activists.
Rebels last week launched a massive offensive in Idlib to build on gains made in recent months.
The fighting for the Taftanaza airport came a day after rebels claimed to have forced the government to close the main civil airport in Aleppo, Syria's biggest city.
The Doha-based broadcaster Al Jazeera quoted airport authorities as saying that the facility had been closed for maintenance works. It was not immediately clear how long the closure would last.
News out of Syria is difficult to verify as authorities have barred most foreign media from the country since a pro-democracy uprising started in March 2011. - Sapa-dpa