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Fighter jets, helicopter gunships target rebel areas of Syria's Aleppo - reports

The country’s second city has seen fresh heavy violence today, according to reports from the area.

June 2012: Free Syrian Army soldiers on the outskirts of Aleppo.
June 2012: Free Syrian Army soldiers on the outskirts of Aleppo.
Image: Khalil Hamra, PA File

SYRIAN FIGHTER jets have been bombing parts of the country’s second city, Aleppo, according to the BBC.

This is the first time that the planes have been used on Aleppo, BBC correspondent Ian Pannell reports.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said earlier that the city saw fresh heavy violence today when pro-government helicopter gunships targeted rebel neighbourhoods.

Chemical weapons

Meanwhile, President Bashar Assad today reshuffled his security council. Four top security officials, including Assad’s brother-in-law, were killed last week when a bomb exploded during a high-level security meeting.

Yesterday, reports emerged that Syrian foreign ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi warned that his government could use chemical and biological weapons if attacks by foreign forces. In a later effort to damped down the remarks, Makdissi said that the regime would never use such weapons against its own citizens.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon responded by saying it “would be reprehensible if anybody in Syria is contemplating use of such weapons of mass destruction”.

“I sincerely hope that the international community keeps an eye on this so that… no such things happen,” he said during an official visit to Serbia yesterday.

The UN chief also noted that Syria is not a party to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which works to eliminate the development, transfer, acquisition and use of chemical weapons.

“All the countries, they have an obligation not to use any weapons of mass destruction, whether they are a party or not to the convention, agreement,” he added.

- Additional reporting by the AP

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