Fertile Crescent
  • In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, President Bashar Assad, center, visits the Umayyad Electrical Station on May Day, a day after a powerful bomb hit the capital. in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, May 1, 2013. (AP Photo/SANA)

    Backed by warplanes, troops pushed into the central districts of the city in an effort to oust rebels from the country's third largest urban center.

    LAST UPDATE : May 02, 2013, 3:30 PM EDT
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  • This citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Media Center AMC which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows anti Syrian regime protesters holding banners and waving the Syrian revolutionary flags during a demonstration, in Aleppo, Syria, Friday, April 26, 2013.

    Opposition groups called for international action after the Obama administration said U.S. intelligence indicates President Bashar Assad's regime has used chemical weapons. 

    LAST UPDATE : Apr 26, 2013, 8:01 PM EDT
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  • FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2012 file photo, merchants remove their wares from the souk in the Old City of Aleppo, Syria. A year after the opposition fighters stormed Aleppo, taking control of several districts in the city of three million and capturing much of its surrounding towns and villages, the industrial zones that constituted 60 percent of Syrian pre-war economy, are mostly deserted. Some have been looted and several have been burnt down. (AP Photo/Monica Prieto, File)

    A government official instead accused opposition forces of using them in a March attack on a village outside of the northern city of Aleppo.

    LAST UPDATE : Apr 26, 2013, 12:26 PM EDT
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