Helicopters Pound Aleppo

Mosques close as civilians flee Damascus, Aleppo
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2012 7:02 AM CDT
Helicopters Pound Aleppo
In this Tuesday, July 24, 2012 photo, a damaged vehicle from clashes between Free Syrian Army soldiers and Syrian government troops is seen at the border town of Azaz, some 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Aleppo.   (AP Photo/Turkpix)

Syrian helicopters have kept up the heavy attacks on Aleppo today, as the military continues to build its force on the city's outskirts in anticipation of a possible all-out invasion of the country's commercial capital, reports the New York Times. But despite the possibility of serious civilian casualties, the White House re-affirmed that America would not be getting involved militarily. "We do not think pouring more fuel onto the fire is going to save lives," said a State Department spokeswoman. Other developments:

  • Aleppo MP Ikhlas Badawi defected to Turkey. "I have crossed to Turkey and defected from this tyrannical regime ... because of the repression and savage torture against a nation demanding the minimum of rights," she said, according to Enduring America.

  • Civilians are streaming out of Damascus and Aleppo, trying to get out of the way of the escalating violence, reports the Wall Street Journal.
  • Recent defector Brigadier General Manaf Tlass appears to be gaining support to be made "transitional leader" of the opposition, the Journal also reports.
  • Many mosques are closed in Damascus today and there will be no Friday prayers, tweeted Alex Thompson of Channel 4 News.
(More Syria stories.)

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