SYRIAN warplanes bombed insurgents east of Damascus yesterday and government forces pounded a town to the southwest, activists said, as a month-long and so far fruitless campaign to dislodge rebels around the capital continued.

Jets bombarded the Beit Sahm district on the road to the airport and the army fired rockets at rebel strongholds around Damascus, President Bashar al-Assad's bastion in 21 months of the bloody uprising.

Nato also accused Assad's forces on Friday of firing Scud missiles that landed near the Turkish border.

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■syria