City pounded in bid to oust rebels

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Syrian planes pounded a strategic northern city yesterday as troops pushed forward to recapture it from rebels.

The fighting over Maaret al-Numan, which sits along the main road that connects Aleppo and Damascus, comes as the regime intensifies efforts to retake the area that was seized by rebels earlier this month.

Their presence has disrupted the regime’s ability to send supplies and reinforcements to Aleppo, where forces are bogged down in a bloody fight.

Syrian troops have been fighting against rebels in Aleppo since July and rebel advances over the past week have added urgency to the battle.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said four people, including three young girls, were killed in the air raids on Maaret al-Numan.

The airstrikes came a day after activists reported the most widespread bombing in a single day since Syria’s 19-month crisis began. Maaret al-Numan was among the hardest hit on Monday as well.