Aleppo assault 'nail in Assad's coffin': Panetta
(AFP) - United States (US) Defence Secretary Leon Panetta warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday that the assault on his own population in Aleppo would be a nail in his coffin.
Fighting raged on the second day of a fierce government offensive, as the United Nations said 200,000 civilians had fled and many were trapped after Assad deployed tanks and attack helicopters to try to dislodge the rebels.
The Syrian opposition says government forces are preparing to carry out "massacres" and is pleading the international community to provide heavy weapons to enable rebels to meet the regime onslaught.
"It's pretty clear that Aleppo is another tragic example of the kind of indiscriminate violence that the Assad regime has committed against its own people," Mr Panetta told reporters on a military plane en route to Tunisia.