yrian rebels have assassinated an air force commander, Gen. Abdullah Mahmud al-Khalidi, in Damascus, according to Syria's state television. The news came as opposition activists said government forces had stepped up a bombing campaign that included the first warplane attacks on targets inside the Syrian capital since the uprising began 20 months ago. The escalation occurred just a day after the expiration of a failed four-day ceasefire, over the Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday, brokered by Lakhdar Brahimi, the peace envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League.
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