DHAKA: The Syrian regime accused regional powerhouses Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of trying to destroy the country and vowed that it would defeat rebels who have captured large swathes of the commercial hub Aleppo.
Military forces in Aleppo fired tank and artillery shells at neighborhoods as rebels tried to repel the government air and ground assault.
According to activists, rebels who launched an operation to take over Syria`s largest city a week ago are estimated to control between a third and a half of Aleppo`s neighbourhoods.
Syrian foreign minister Walid Al-Moallem, on a visit to Iran, leveled some rare public criticism of Sunni powers in the Middle East, saying Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are supporting a plot hatched by Israel to destroy Syria.
The three countries have all been backing rebels trying to overthrow authoritarian President Bashar Assad, reports The Straits Times.
`Israel is the mastermind of all in this crisis,` Moallem told a joint news conference in Tehran with his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi.
BDST: 0246 HRS, JUL 30, 2012
Edited by Robab Rosan, Cultural Affairs Editor
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