Activists say some 150 rebels and government troops have been killed in fierce fighting for control of the international airport in the northern city of Aleppo and a major military air base nearby.

The director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that death toll is from fighting on Wednesday and Thursday and is almost evenly divided between opposition fighters and regime soldiers.

The Observatory and the Local Coordination Committees activist group say rebels and President Bashar Assad’s forces are shelling each other in renewed clashes on Friday in and around the airports.

Rebels launched a major attack on Aleppo’s civilian airport and the nearby air base of Nairab on Wednesday. They have captured most of the “Brigade 80” force that is in charge of protecting the area.

DPA adds from Istanbul:

Turkey fires on Syrian targets

Turkey struck Syrian military targets in response to a mortar shell fired from Syria landing on the Turkish side of the border, the Anatolia news agency reported on Friday.The mortar shell exploded about a km from a Turkish military base, in a wooded area in the southern province of Hatay.

Relations between the two neighbours have deteriorated since the Assad regime started cracking down on its opponents in March 2011.

The United States, Germany and the Netherlands have sent Turkey Patriot missile batteries to help their NATO ally defend its border, where rockets from Syria have hit civilian areas.

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