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Syrian activists: Airstrike death toll rises to 76

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 16, 2013 at 7:18 a.m.

BEIRUT — Syrian government aircraft pounded opposition areas near the southern border with Jordan and in the northern city of Aleppo on Monday, a day after a series of airstrikes on the contested city killed at least 76 people, activists said.

President Bashar Assad's air force is his greatest advantage in the country's civil war, and he has successfully exploited it to push back against rebel advances across the country and to target civilian areas sympathetic to the opposition. Human rights groups say Syrian military aircraft have carried out indiscriminate air raids that frequently hit civilian targets, such as hospitals, bakeries and residential areas.

On Monday, Syrian government warplanes bombed the southern province of Daraa, hitting the villages of Inkhil and Jassem, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights. There was no immediate word on casualties.

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