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NEW: Villages near Aleppo seem deserted
At least 129 people died Wednesday, an opposition group says
The British and German ambassadors are concerned about the Aleppo fighting
Live footage appears to show rebel forces seizing a police station in Aleppo
Syrian rebels took their fight to the northern city of Aleppo on Wednesday, burning a police station and capturing pro-regime forces in an effort to wrest control from government forces, opposition and rebel groups said.
Rebels took control of a police station, according to footage streamed live by the Free Syrian Army on Wednesday. The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebels burned a police station, though it wasn’t clear if it was the same one.
The video shows rebels seizing tanks, looting the station, smashing pictures of President Bashar al-Assad and lining up captured members of the pro-regime Shabiha militia.
Another opposition group, the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, said MiG-21 warplanes were flying over the city and shelling several Aleppo neighborhoods. There was also gunfire, and civilians’ cars were targeted, it said.
Villages near Aleppo appeared deserted Wednesday, and residents told CNN they are now traveling on back roads because the main highway is considered unsafe.
A Sunni cleric in the village of Injara, about six miles west of Aleppo, showed CNN journalists craters and gaping holes in at least six homes, the result of what he and residents said were rockets and artillery from a Syrian army base visible a couple of miles away.
“They hit us every night,” Bukhro said.
The British and German ambassadors to the United Nations said reports of the warplanes over Aleppo are especially concerning.
“The reports now of attacks by regime fighter jets in Aleppo mark yet a further dangerous escalation and underlines that there are no boundaries that the Assad regime will not cross in the misguided hope that it can resist the will of its people and hang on to power,” British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant told the Security Council on Wednesday.
Aleppo is the commercial hub of Syria and an al-Assad stronghold, making it a key target for both sides.
“The Assad authorities are not only unleashing their heavy weapons and gunships against their own people,” German Ambassador Peter Wittig said. “Two days ago they went even a step further and threatened the international community with the use of chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction.”
Wittig was referencing comments by Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi that any weapons of mass destruction owned by the regime would never be used against the Syrian people, and are meant to be used only in the event of “external aggression.”
Wittig called Makdissi’s remark “a ruthless and an inhumane threat.”