Aleppo: As Syrian troops launched heavy offensive in the capital city Damascus, killing many, rebels on Thursday blasted the Menagh air base used to attack Aleppo.
"Menagh military airport was bombarded on Thursday morning by a tank captured previously by the rebels," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was quoted as saying.
Menagh air base is located 30 kilometres northwest of the country's commercial capital.
One of the rebels claimed that this attack was meant to seize this airport from being used by helicopters and planes to bombard on Aleppo.
The rebels are reportedly carrying their own heavy weapons now, including tanks, which are those captured from government forces.
Rebel forces in northern Syria attacked the country's largest city of Aleppo two weeks ago and have captured several neighborhoods, which they have since held despite ground and air assaults by the government.
Meanwhile, a fresh raid by Syrian security forces near the capital Damascus today killed 43 people.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that some of those killed were tortured and executed by the government forces.
"Regime forces entered the Jdaidet Artuz district (southwest of Damascus) on Wednesday and arrested around 100 young people who were taken to a school and tortured," the human rights watchdog was quoted as saying in a statement.
"On Thursday morning after the operation the bodies of 43 people were recovered. Some of them had been summarily executed."
The Observatory had yesterday reported 28 civilians killed in the raid on Jdaidet Artuz.
It said a total of 163 people were killed in violence across the country yesterday -- 98 civilians, 20 rebels and 45 soldiers.
With Agency Inputs
First Published: Thursday, August 02, 2012, 14:35