The Straits Times
Published on Oct 12, 2012

War intensifies across Syria, refugee crisis deepens


BEIRUT (REUTERS) - Rebels battled to hold onto Syria's main north-south highway on Friday as government forces fought insurgents on several fronts across the country.

The rebels captured an air defence base east of Syria's biggest city, Aleppo, and government forces unleashed air strikes and artillery bombardments on the western city of Homs, activists said.

On the Turkish-Syrian border, Turkey scrambled two fighter jets after a Syrian military helicopter bombed the Syrian border town of Azmarin.

The incident was the latest sign that tension between Ankara and Damascus is surging at a time when the 19-month-old conflict is deepening with no sign of a diplomatic breakthrough and growing concerns that it could spread across the Middle East.