(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- The Syrian military continued its onslaught against rebel forces on Thursday as warplanes struck the strategic city of Maaret al-Numan, leaving dozens dead.
Maaret al-Numan, which was captured last week by fighters opposed to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, is located between the capital of Damascus and Syria's largest city of Aleppo.
By not controlling Maaret al-Numan, government troops have a more difficult time transporting troops and supplies between the two other cities.
Al-Assad's forces have been bombarding the region for the past week with allegations by Human Rights Watch that his government is also using cluster bombs, a weapon banned by most of the world that sprays a wide area with lethal bomblets. Syria has refuted the allegations.
With the fighting intensifying, there was no further word Thursday about progress being made on a proposed four-day ceasefire next week that has been touted by the United Nations' special envoy to Syria and regional leaders.
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