Heavy shelling and clashes rage on across swathes of Syria's second city of Aleppo, as freedom fighters are gaining ground in the key northern battleground.
At least 24 people have been killed nationwide, among them women and children in Aleppo, as the Assad's regime presses its onslaught on liberated areas.
The Free Syrian Army (FSA) controls almost two-thirds of Aleppo, which has been battered by a month of air strikes, shelling and fighting, and each day it taks control of new districts. Some 30 districts are now under FSA control, including about half of the embattled neighbourhood of Salaheddin.
Meanwhile, Assad's troops stormed a town near Damascus, torching homes and shops, while Russian helicopters and war planes strafed several liberated suburbs of the capital.
In neighbouring Lebanon, two people were killed and more than 60 wounded in clashes between Sunni Muslims and Alawites in the northern city of Tripoli.