Syrian army pounds rebels in pre-talks shelling

Syrian government forces Monday escalated their bombing campaign around Damascus, raining shells down on rebel territory and sending out a “bloody message” just days before renewed peace talks in Geneva. Representatives from the opposition and of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime are to head to Switzerland on Thursday for another attempt to end their country’s brutal six-year war. “The toll in regime air strikes on (northern rebel district of Damascus) Barzeh has increased to seven people, including a woman and child,” the Observatory said, adding that 12 more had been wounded.

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