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Syria continues operations against rebels in Aleppo amid Western warnings

(Xinhua)

08:22, July 31, 2012

DAMASCUS, July 30 (Xinhua) -- The Syria government showed unwavering resolve in the past week in its operations to overrun some rebel-held areas in northern province Aleppo while the confrontation between the two sides is getting increasingly fierce due to the support the opposition is reportedly receiving from some regional and foreign parties.

Despite some opposition activists' claim that the rebels have fended off an all-out offensive by the government troops, Syria said it is in the throes of crushing them and on the threshold of a new era, which will see all Syrian cities free of "terrorists."

On Saturday, Syria launched its fiercest offensive in Aleppo with warnings of a continuous onslaught until "smashing out the last terrorist."

The government emphasizes that it has regained its control on most areas that were reportedly held by rebels in the northern province of Aleppo, Syria's second largest city and its industrial capital.

On Monday, the Syrian army overran part of the rebel-held Salaheddin district of Aleppo, the city's most populous area and the stronghold of the rebels' Free Syrian Army.

The Syrian government dismissed the media reports that the rebels have ever achieved gains in some restive areas in Aleppo, saying those reports are no more than a "psychological war aiming to breathe life in the rebels' deteriorating morale."

It had also downplayed, via its official media, recent statements made by Western and Turkish officials and labeled them as "confused and far from the reality."

As the Syrian government stepped up its attacks on Aleppo, Leon Panetta, the U.S. secretary of defense, called for efforts to " bring the Syrian regime down." However, the Syrian government said it is still solid and able to face the whirlwind events.

"The U.S. secretary of defense said that the Syrian government approaches its end without even daring to set a date for this end, which the course of events denies," Syria's official news agency SANA said on Monday.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, whose country is taking over the UN Security Council's rotating presidency in August, has said he will call an emergency session for the council to impose more sanctions on Syria as a prelude to launch an attack on the country.

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