Fighting intensifies over Syria's largest city

BEIRUT (AP) -- The Syrian regime pounded Aleppo with warplanes and artillery shelling Saturday as ground forces seeking to regain momentum in the country's largest city advanced on three neighborhoods, activists said.
Aleppo -- which had been relatively quiet for most of the 18-month-old revolt -- has emerged as the main battleground in Syria's civil war, with both sides largely locked in a stalemate despite the superior firepower of Assad's regime.

The uprising against Assad began in March 2011, when protests calling for political change were met by a violent government crackdown by government troops. Many in the opposition took up arms, and activists say more than 23,000 people have been killed. The government says more than 4,000 security officers are among the dead. [33 photos total]

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1
Syrian rebel fighters raise their weapons as they head to fight government forces in Aleppo, in Suran, on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. (AP / Muhammed Muheisen) #
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A Syrian rebel fighter, right, eats while others chat as they wait for transportation to go and fight government forces in Aleppo, at their headquarters in Suran, on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. (AP / Muhammed Muheisen) #
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A Syrian rebel fighter, registers the serial number of his AK-47 to a local leader, before heading to fight government forces in Aleppo, at their headquarters in Suran, on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. (AP / Muhammed Muheisen) #
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Syrian rebel fighters, attend Muslims noon prayers before heading to fight government forces in Aleppo, at their headquarters in Suran, on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. (AP / Muhammed Muheisen) #
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A Syrian rebel fighter holds his rifle as he and other fighters head to Aleppo to fight government forces, at their headquarters in Suran, on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. (AP / Muhammed Muheisen) #
6
Syrian Mohammed Ramadan, 46, whose displaced from his home in Dir el Zour, due to fighting between the rebels and government forces, comforts his daughter Haneen, 5, who suffers from a lung infection, while waiting to be examined by a doctor at a makeshift hospital in Suran, on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Monday, Sept. 10, 2012. (AP / Muhammed Muheisen) #
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Syrian Fatima Zahra stands by the door of her house in Tel Rifaat on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. Most days, dozens of rebels in this northern Syrian town get home-cooked lunches of meat and vegetables, thanks to Fatima Zahra, a stern, blue-eyed local matron. (AP / Muhammed Muheisen) #
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Libyan woman an her sons leave their home in Salah Adin district in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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Syrian rebel fighter, Mohammed Adnan, 21, center, who was shot in the shoulder by a government sniper on Saturday while fighting in Aleppo, rests with other fighters at their headquarters in Suran, on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP / Muhammed Muheisen) #
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FSA soldiers go to the front line in Izaa district in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. On Friday, U.S. Senators John McCain, Joe Lieberman and Lindsay Graham, who have toured the volatile Middle East in recent days, urged Washington to help arm Syria's rebels with weapons and create a safe zone inside the country for a transition government. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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FSA soldiers prepare a mortar in Izaa district in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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FSA soldiers go to the front line in Izaa district in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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Syrian rebels, who returned from fighting with government forces in Aleppo, clear a closet full of rifles at their headquarters in Suran, on the outskirts of Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP / Muhammed Muheisen) #
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FSA soldier poses for a picture in Izaa district in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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In this Saturday, Sept 8, 2012 photo, a Free Syrian Army soldier fires his machine gun against Syrian Army positions in the Izaa district of Aleppo, Syria on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. Syrian activists say President Bashar Assad's regime pounded Aleppo with warplanes and artillery shelling Saturday as ground forces sought to regain momentum in the country's largest city. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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Free Syrian Army soldiers take up positions during a fight against Syrian Army forces in the Izaa district of Aleppo, Syria on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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Free Syrian Army soldier runs for cover in the Izaa district of Aleppo, Syria on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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Free Syrian Army soldiers shoot their weapons towards Syrian Army positions in the Izaa district of Aleppo, Syria on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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FSA soldier shoots his machine gun against Syrian Army positions in the Izaa district in Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Sept 8, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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FSA soldiers help a severely wounded colleague after being shot by a Syrian Army sniper in Izaa district in Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Sept 8, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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FSA soldiers help a severely wounded colleague after being shot by a Syrian Army sniper in Izaa district in Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Sept 8, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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FSA soldiers help transport a severely wounded colleague after being shot by a Syrian Army sniper in Izaa district in Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Sept 8, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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Free Syrian Army soldiers help a severely wounded fighter after he was shot by a Syrian Army sniper in the Izaa district of Aleppo, Syria on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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Syrian doctors treat a wounded FSA fighter in Izaa district in Aleppo, Syria, Saturday, Sept 8, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A rebel Free Syrian Army soldier helps a comrade treat his hand that was wounded by a sniper in Izaa district in Aleppo, Syria on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012. Activists say more than 23,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad began in March 2011. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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Two rebel Free Syrian Army soldiers help a wounded comrade during the fight in Izaa district in Aleppo, Syria on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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Two rebel Free Syrian Army soldiers run after attacking a Syrian Army tank during fighting in the Izaa district in Aleppo, Syria on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A Free Syrian Army rebel fires his weapon against Syrian Army positions in Salaheddine district in Aleppo, Syria on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A rebel Free Syrian Army soldier jumps out of a truck in Salaheddine district in Aleppo, Syria on Friday, Sept. 7, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A rebel Free Syrian Army soldier shoots his machine gun towards Syrian Army positions in Aleppo, Syria on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A rebel Free Syrian Army soldier reloads his machine gun cartridge during a break in the fighting in Aleppo, Syria on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
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A rebel Free Syrian Army soldier takes a break during a lull in the fighting in Aleppo, Syria on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012. (AP / Manu Brabo) #
33
This citizen journalism image taken on Thursday September 6, 2012 and provided by Idlib News Network ENN, purports to show Syrian rebels battling Syrian forces troops in Salqin village, Idlib province, northern Syria. Editor's Note: The Associated Press is unable to independently verify the authenticity, content, location or date of this handout photo. (AP / Anonymous) #

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