Government troops and rebels have been locked in a deadly stalemate in Aleppo, Syria's largest urban center and main commercial hub, and other areas in the north since last summer. Six months later, the rebels hold large parts of the city. Still, they have been unable to overcome the regime's far superior firepower.
The residential building hit Friday was in a regime-held zone. Syrian state TV showed footage of the building with several floors collapsed, with one man carrying a baby out of the building and another man clutching his head as blood ran down his forehead. Residents were also seen looking for people buried in the rubble. At least one injured person on a stretcher was seen being carried away in a Red Crescent ambulance.
State TV said that soon after two suicide car bombs detonated near a mosque in Daraa, causing casualties among worshippers as they left from weekly prayers. TV blamed the blast on Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaida-linked group which the U.S. has declared a terrorist organization but which fights alongside Syrian rebels.
State TV said both the Aleppo and Daraa attacks caused casualties but did not give an exact number. The Observatory said 12 people were killed in Aleppo and five in Daraa.
Daraa is the birthplace of the revolt against Assad's rule that erupted in March 2011. The uprising began as peaceful protests but quickly turned into a civil war after a brutal government crackdown. More than 60,000 people have been killed in the violence, according to a recent United Nation's estimate.
Also on Friday, fighting between Syrian rebels and Assad's loyalists flared in a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, killing 12 people and wounding at least 20 others, a U.N. refugee agency said. Children were among the casualties, according to a statement issued by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency. The agency called on both sides to "pull back from civilian areas, including refugee camps."
The Palestinian camp called Yarmouk has been the scene of heavy clashes between rebels and regime loyalists since mid-December, when opposition fighters moved into the camp during an attempt to storm the capital.
About half of Yarmouk's 150,000 residents have fled since fighting erupted in mid-December, according to UNRWA, which administers Palestinian camps in the Middle East. Some sought refuge in neighboring Lebanon, and others found shelter in UNRWA schools in Damascus and other Syrian cities.
Dozens have been killed in the fighting, although the United Nations did not provide an exact figure of casualties in Yarmouk violence, which has included airstrikes and artillery shelling from the Syrian military.
On Syria's northern border with Turkey, regime fighter jets pounded villages in rebel-held areas in Latakia province, dropping makeshift bombs made from hundreds of pounds (kilograms) of explosives stuffed into barrels, Turkey's state-run Anadolu agency said.
The Observatory reported later Friday that an air raid on the Damascus suburb of Maydaa killed at least 11 people, including a woman and four children. An amateur video showed four bloodied children who were lined near a pick group that also carried the body of an adult.
The videos appeared genuine and corresponded to other AP reporting on the events depicted.
Syrian TV reported that troops targeted rebel gatherings in the central city of Homs and killed "tens" of them.
Associated Press writer Zeina Karam in Beirut and Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, contributed to this report.
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