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Syrian troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have made a push on a number of fronts in the fight against pro-democracy rebels, activists say.
Amateur footage purports to show Syrian government helicopters being fired upon by rebels in Aleppo. There are also reports of a huge offensive by land and air in the nearby town of Khan Sheikhoun, as well sustained heavy shelling and gunfire in the rebel stronghold of Homs.
In the midst of what is reportedly one of the bloodiest weeks of the Syrian uprising, the head of the UN monitoring mission, Major General Robert Mood said that they must stay, although they admit that the ceasefire they were sent to police is non-existent:
“Now we are in the situation in which we have the contacts and knowledge, but we have no ceasefire.”
The head of the 300-strong UN monitoring mission says it should now be restructured, conducting targeted tasks aimed at supporting political dialogue, which foreign powers say is the only way out of the crisis.