Syrian soldiers lift up their guns as they salute Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the al-Midan neighborhood of Damascus on July 20, 2012.
Calm has been restored in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo as Syrian security forces have cleared most areas of the city of foreign-backed armed gangs, Press TV reports.
The army said on Tuesday that it killed tens of rebels in the Salahuddin and al-Sukkari neighborhoods of the city.
However, government forces and foreign-backed militants are still skirmishing in some parts of the city.
In another development, on Tuesday tens of armed men were killed or injured in blasts that occurred when explosive charges they were planting in a factory in Aleppo detonated accidentally.
Meanwhile, the Syrian government says the rebels are committing “horrific crimes” against civilians in Aleppo and Damascus.
In two letters addressed to the head of the United Nations Security Council and the UN secretary general, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said on Tuesday that the rebels, who are backed and funded by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey, are using civilians in Aleppo as human shields and killing anyone who does not support their crimes.
The Syrian army began a major operation on Saturday from the southwestern outskirts of Aleppo to clear the city of armed groups, and after several days of clashes, calm has mostly been restored in the city.
On Sunday, the security forces killed a large number of terrorists attempting to enter the country from Turkey.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011. Damascus says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.
Western states have been calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. However, Russia and China are strongly opposed to the Western drive to oust Assad.
The Syrian government says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the armed militants are foreign nationals, mostly from Egypt, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and Afghanistan.