DAMASCUS, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- Clashes continued Saturday in several Syrian cities, mainly in Aleppo and the capital Damascus.
Syria's state TV said the army carried out Saturday " qualitative operations" at the Hanano barracks in northern Aleppo province, killing scores of armed insurgents.
Several other "qualitative operations" have also been conducted in several other neighborhoods in Aleppo, a scene of intense fighting between the Syrian troops and armed militias.
The armed rebels have tried over the past 24 hours to storm the Hanano barracks but managed only to take over a nearby recruitment division and used it as a launching pad for their assaults on the barracks, media sources said.
Meanwhile, the governor of Aleppo Mohammad Aqqad denied on Saturday media reports that the drinking water had been cut off in the northern province, saying only two water pumps were damaged and the maintenance work is underway to fix them as soon as possible.
Aqqad said that the two water pumps had been damaged by " sabotage acts," adding that they only feed three districts, al- Midan, Azizieh and Slaimanieh, in which the water has been cut off.
He said that all other places in Aleppo have no water problems at all.
Quoted by Syria's state TV, Aqqad dismissed as baseless media reports claiming that the drinking water in the battered province is poisoned.
The governor's remarks have come amid reports saying that all telecommunications to Aleppo had been cut off as the city is witnessing intense clashes between the government troops and the armed rebels.
In the capital Damascus, the state-TV said the Syrian troops made strides on ground in fighting with armed insurgents in the southern district of Tadamun, Hajar al-Aswad and the Palestinian camp of Yarmouk.
In separate accounts Saturday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the initial death toll of Saturday's violence is more than 140 people, 35 of whom were unarmed civilians while the rest of 140 are split between rebel fighters and government troops.
In Aleppo, the Observatory said the districts of al-Sha'ar, Sad al-Lawz and al-Hulwaniya had been bombarded.
It said the regime forces bombarded the Hanano neighborhood with fighter jets, adding that the regime forces had managed to reclaim parts of the neighborhood and is now trying to control the cornice area.
The Observatory also reported violence and chaotic incidents in the hotspots across the country. Yet their claim couldn't be independently verified.
DAMASCUS, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- The UN new special envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi is expected to set foot in Syria within the next week, the Syrian Foreign Ministry Spokesman said on Saturday.
Jihad Makdissi made the remarks during an interview with the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV on Saturday evening, in which he said that "Brahimi will come within the next week, and he will listen to us and we will listen to him." Full story
NICOSIA, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- European Union (EU) foreign ministers, who met in a two-day informal meeting in Cyprus, demanded the resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis.
"The message out of the discussions at the informal meeting of the European Foreign Ministers in connection with the crisis in Syria is that President Assad must go," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told a joint press conference here along with Cyprus Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Markoulli. Full story