Syrian government forces shelled a rebel stronghold in Aleppo on Sunday, as clashes erupted in other parts of the northern city, the opposition said.

The shelling of Salaheddine, reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, came a day after rebels reported that army helicopters and artillery bombarded the district as they tried to enter.

Clashes between the army and rebels also broke out in the Meridyan and Ansari districts of the commercial hub.

Two rebel fighters were killed in Aleppo, the London-based watchdog said. Three people were killed in clashes in the northern province of Idlib and one died in the central Homs province.

Rebels and government forces have been fighting for control of Aleppo for around a week, with neither side making significant gains.

The battle could decide the course of Syria’s 17-month conflict.

On Saturday, 220 people were killed in the violence countrywide, with civilian deaths numbering 165 and 52 soldiers killed, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

More than 20,000 people have been killed in the conflict in Syria since the start of the uprising against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, according to the opposition.

Information coming out of Syria cannot be independently verified, as authorities have barred most foreign media from the restive areas.

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