Government forces have started to regain control of many of the areas in Damascus they lost in the wake of the "big bomb" last week as they have shown their superiority in numbers and firepower with heavy destruction in the Syrian capital.
In the business and and financial centre of Aleppo, rebel fighters have taken control of various parts of the city commandeering a number of government tanks and destroying more. They have set up burning road blocks to try and maintain their positions as heavy shelling continues.
— Ian Pannell (@BBCiPannell) July 23, 2012
The heavy artillery shelling of civilian areas by the government forces are being called "collective punishment" by activists, further raising the question about war crimes
the regime is deliberately shelling civilian areas as a collective punishment for Aleppo rising up and FSA entering it. mad murderers #Syria
— edward dark (@edwardedark) July 24, 2012
The rebels are outgunned with the regime attacking their positions with helicopter gunships and heavy artillery but holding their positions
— Ian Pannell (@BBCiPannell) July 24, 2012
There have been prison riots and attempted breakouts in Aleppo and Homs with nine inmates killed in Aleppo and government forces threatening to storm the Homs prison. Activists have warned of a plan of "mass executions" by government forces within the jail in which there is already a "catastrophic humanitarian situation".
Reports of riots in Homs & Aleppo prisons. Very worried about killing of inmates given history of massacres in #Syria jails
— Nadim Houry (@nadimhoury) July 24, 2012
The following video has emerged from inside Aleppo prison:
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights are claiming that more than 1,260 people have been killed in the last week in fighting across Syria, marking it as the bloodiest week so far in the conflict.