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Activists: Syrian airstrikes kill 12

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 7, 2013 at 9:35 a.m.

BEIRUT — Syrian government aircraft on Saturday pounded a rebel-held city in the country's northeast, killing at least 12 people including five children, activists said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the air raids — seven strikes in total — hit the northeastern city of Raqqa early afternoon. Four women were among the dead and dozens of people were wounded, the Observatory said.

Rebels captured Raqqa, the capital of the province of the same name, in March. It's the only major urban center to fall entirely under opposition control since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011.

Rebels also control territory in the north and parts of Aleppo, Syria's largest city and its commercial center.

President Bashar Assad's forces have relied heavily on air power in the last year to regain control of opposition-held territory, particularly in the north and along the border with Turkey.

Last week, at least 50 people were reported killed in two helicopter attacks on a rebel-held town near Aleppo.

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