Syrian government warplanes bombed targets Aleppo and its vicinity Monday, as a car-bomb exploded in Jaramana near Damascus.
Government forces killed 235 people across the country Monday with 62 of those dead in Aleppo, Bloomberg reported. Most were killed when al-Bab and other neighborhoods came under aerial attack. Another 57 were killed near the southern city of Daraa, including 43 found in a mass grave in al-Hirak, and 36 in and around the capital, the opposition Local Coordination Committees said.
Al-Bab in Aleppo province came under aerial attack and several neighborhoods inside Aleppo city were also targeted, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The group reported five people killed and at least 27 wounded by the Jaramana bomb, and said there also was fighting in the coastal mountains near Latakia.
Syrian security forces killed 16 people execution-style in Damascus neighborhood of Qabun, al-Jazeera reported, citing activists. Troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad stormed the village of Faraya in Hama and killed 21 people, most of them with knives, the Local Coordination Committees said in a statement.
The car bomb that exploded in the southeast Damascus suburb of Jaramana killed four people, opposition sources told the Washington Post.
Col. Aref Hammoud of the Free Syrian Army claimed the government planted the device to stir up sectarian tension in a religiously mixed area. The Post quoted him saying: "This regime is in its last days and they carried out this explosion to stir up sectarian anger and sectarian war. They want to change the opinion of the West regarding the Syrian revolution."
The official state news agency SANA, on the other hand, blamed "terrorists" for the attack.
Meanwhile, the opposition is pleading for military help to protect civilians against Assad's armed forces, the Guardian reported.
Speaking on a visit to Madrid, Abdel Basset Sayda, head of the Syrian National Council, said: "I am going to be very clear, we are requesting military intervention in order to protect Syrian civilians who have been constantly murdered over the last year and a half."
He was speaking after meeting Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García Margallo.
Reuters also quoted Sayda as saying: "The European Union should take the initiative and pressure Russia ... so we can lay down some protected areas for refugees."