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Fierce Fighting Continues In Syria As U.N. General Assembly Prepares To Vote

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"There has been renewed fighting in Syria ahead of a U.N. General Assembly vote condemning its own Security Council for failing to end the unrest," the BBC writes. "The army has been shelling rebel positions in the largest city, Aleppo. There was also bloodshed in Hama and the capital, Damascus."

According to al-Jazeera:

"Syria's main armed opposition group has said it has taken control of more than '50 percent' of Aleppo, Syria's largest city and commercial hub that has been under siege by regime forces for weeks. Despite Free Syrian Army (FSA) claims of a strengthening hold on the city, government forces continued on Friday to shell rebel-held areas and bomb them with advanced fighter jets, destroying many residential buildings."

As for the vote at the U.N., The Wall Street Journal says that while the measure reprimands Syria "for its use of heavy weaponry against civilians and domestic insurgents," it is "a largely symbolic gesture at a time when consensus is growing that the conflict will only be solved by fighting — not diplomacy."

On Morning Edition, Robert Malley of the International Crisis Group (which describes itself as an "independent, non-partisan, source of analysis and advice to governments, and intergovernmental bodies") warned that while President Bashar Assad's regime appears to be weakening and losing control of parts of the country, neither side may end up being strong enough to take complete control of Syria any time soon. So the battles could continue for a very long time.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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