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Aleppo braces for sixth day of fighting as rebel strongholds are bombarded by Syrian military.
The battle for control over Syria's largest city continues into its sixth day as Syrian forces continue shelling several districts of Aleppo through the night and into Thursday.
"There are clashes in the Muhafaza district and shelling on the Mushhad and Sheikh Badr neighborhoods, which killed a child and injured seven people," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, the AFP reported.
It also said that deadly clashes were taking place in the cities of Hama and Deir Ezzor province and that there were explosions targeting military vehicles in Idlib, Voice of America reported. 143 people were killed throughout Syria on Wednesday, the Observatory said in an updated toll on Thursday, the AFP reported.
Syria's regime rushed reinforcements to Aleppo, Syria's commercial hub, after rebels launched an all-out assault for control of northern city on July 20.
According to The New York Times, the Syrian government appears to be "mustering its forces." A large convoy of tanks, military vehicles carrying soldiers and other goods were spotted on the southern outskirts of Aleppo, said Majed Abdel Nour, the spokesman in the city for the Sham News Network, an activist organization.
As the violence increases, so do the defections. According to Al Jazeera, the United States confirmed the defections of two senior Syrian diplomats on Wednesday: Abdel Latif Dabbagh, the ambassador to the UAE, and and his wife Lamia al-Hariri, the Syrian charge d'affaires in Cyprus.
Al Jazeera also reported that the stream of refugees fleeing Syria has continued. More than 150 Syrian families crossed into Iraq on Wednesday, and the Iraqi government has set up two camps for the refugees, after opening its borders for refugees on Tuesday.