Dozens killed in Syria’s rebel-held areas

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iol news pic Aleppo 12 oct REUTERS Members of the Free Syrian Army are seen at a front line in al-Mid area in Aleppo city in northern Syria October 11, 2012. REUTERS/Zain Karam

Beirut -

Syrian warplanes intensified on Tuesday their strikes on rebel-held areas in the northern province of Aleppo and the outskirts of the capital, killing dozens, many of whom were women and children, activists said.

“We have documented since Monday night the killing of more than 150 people across Syria, among them at least 20 children aged between 3 and 9 and more than 18 women,” activist Haytham al-Abdallah told dpa.

Dozens of homes were destroyed in Aleppo's Haidariyeh area and Mazamiyet al-Sham on the outskirts of Damascus, he added.

Meanwhile, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi is to visit Tehran for talks with top Iranian officials, state television said.

Al-Halqi, who is heading an economic and political delegation, will meet with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and other high-ranking officials during his stay in Tehran.

The trip comes as international calls intensify for a probe into the Syrian regime for alleged war crimes committed during the nearly two-year-long conflict that has killed more than 60 000 people according to UN estimates.

Tehran is one of President Bashar al-Assad's main allies and has backed the peace plan he put forward this month.

The plan, which includes a national reconciliation conference, a new government and constitution, was rejected by the opposition, who insist that al-Assad must step down before they agree to any settlement. - Sapa-dpa


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