Fighting rages in Syria over Eid
Syrian government forces have marked the second day of Eid Al Fitr with heavy shelling of the cities of Aleppo and Daraa and a suburb of the capital Damascus, killing up to 30 people.
Today's fighting showed the regime is not letting up on its drive to quell the nation's 18-month-old uprising out of respect for Eid.
Activists reported no signs of jubilation across the battered nation, with smaller-than-usual turnout for the traditional Eid prayer on the first day and an air of gloom descending on major cities.
Anti-regime activists say 20,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in March 2011.
The fighting comes a day after the UN's new envoy to Syria acknowledged that he had no concrete ideas to end the conflict and that his mission would be difficult without a unified position by the UN Security Council.
"The problem is not what I can do differently, it is how others are going to behave differently," Lakhdar Brahimi said at his Paris home.
"If they spoke in one voice and were clearly supportive of what I will be doing on their behalf, that is what I need," Brahimi said of what he seeks from the Security Council. "Without a unified voice from the Security Council, I think it will be difficult," the former Algerian foreign minister added.
The rights groups and activists said today's shelling by tanks and warplanes caused two houses to collapse in Aleppo, Syria's largest city, killing at least 14 people. The buildings were in the Al Sakhour and Qadi Askar neighborhoods, said activist Mohammed Saeed, reached by Skype inside the city.
Aleppo has been the scene of daily battles for several weeks now, with forces loyal to President Bashar Assad trying to wrest control from the rebels but without making much headway.
Saeed also said that fighting raged inside the city with rebel forces making advances in the districts of Al Jadidah and Maadi Telal.