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April 06, 2013

Assad: Turkey Untruthful About Syrian Uprising

by VOA News

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been lying about the Syrian uprising.

In comments made to Turkish journalists earlier this week and released later in televised broadcasts, Mr. Assad said both Turkey and Jordan are "playing with fire" to let Syrian insurgents train on their soil.  He accused Erdogan of working with Israel to destroy Syria, and said Ankara is contributing directly to the killing of Syrians.

Turkey and Jordan both harbor hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees.

Meanwhile, Activists say a Syrian government airstrike on a mainly Kurdish area in the northern city of Aleppo has killed 15 people.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says nine children and three women are among those killed in Saturday's attack on the Sheikh Maksoud neighborhood in Aleppo.

Activists in the area reported the number of dead is likely to rise due to a large number of severe injuries.

The observatory said that after the airstrike, Syrian-based Kurdish fighters killed five soldiers in an attack on an army checkpoint on the outskirts of Sheikh Maksoud.

On Friday, Syrian rebels said they seized a military checkpoint on a main highway between Damascus and Jordan.

A rebel commander told the Reuters news agency that the Umm al-Mayathen checkpoint is a major army garrison. He says the rebels will now capture the border crossing and cut off the military's supply lines.

And the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Syrian forces bombed a key Damascus neighborhood, trapping people under the rubble.

The United Nations says the Syrian civil war has killed about 70,000 people since March, 2011. Most of the victims have been civilians.